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Associated Press
Oscar Pistorius, arrives at the court with June Steenkamp, back left, mother of the late Reeva Steenkamp, and Jenny Strydom. back right, in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, March 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Daniel Born, Pool)

Firearms expert testifies at Pistorius trial

Associated Press
Aimee Pistorius, sister of Oscar Pistorius, right, talks to June Steenkamp, left, mother of the late Reeva Seenkamp, and friend Jenny Strydom, center, before court hearings begins in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday March 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, Pool)

– Months before he killed his girlfriend, Oscar Pistorius described how he drew his gun and went into "combat mode" after hearing the noise of a possible intruder at home, which turned out to be a laundry machine, a South African guns expert testified Monday at the athlete's murder trial.

Sean Rens, manager of the International Firearm Training Academy in Walkerville town, also said he had many conversations about firearms with Pistorius, who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He said the double-amputee runner had "a great love and enthusiasm" for guns.

Rens said he met Pistorius in 2012 and trained in a gun range with him, and that Pistorius asked him to provide him with a revolver and was also seeking to collect other guns. In one conversation, Pistorius described how he was startled by a noise at home and decided to clear the house by drawing his gun and checking rooms, according to Rens.

"He went into what we call `code red' or combat mode," Rens said. "When he came to the source of the noise, it was the laundry or something."

Pistorius had tweeted about the incident in November 2012: "Nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking its an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry!"

The double-amputee runner says he killed Steenkamp by accident before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013, shooting her through a closed toilet door after mistaking her for an intruder in his home. Prosecutors say he killed her after an argument.

Steenkamp's mother, June, was in the Pretoria courtroom for a second time Monday. She also attended the first day of the trial on March 3.

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