(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- The mother of Oscar Pistorius’ slain girlfriend made a rare appearance in court Monday, but had to leave after seeing pictures of Pistorius smeared with her daughter’s blood.
Pistorius paused on his way into court Monday for the third week of his murder trial to nod hello at June Steenkamp, the mother of his former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. June Steenkamp nodded back at Pistorius.
After Pistorius took his seat in court, Pistorius’ sister Aimiee went to June Steenkamp, kneeling in front of her as the two chatted for several minutes.
But June Steenkamp had to leave the courtroom at one point when photos were displayed of Pistorius with Reeva's blood on his shorts and smeared on his body. The mother later returned to court.
The court heard on Monday about Pistorius' love affair with guns and that in the months before he shot his girlfriend on Valentine's Day 2013 he had ordered seven more weapons, including a semi-automatic and an assault rifle that is the civilian version of what South Africa police carry.
Sean Patrick Rens, a firearms service provider who facilitates gun purchases, told the court Pistorius expressed a “great love and enthusiasm for guns.”
The gun order was cancelled a month after the Feb. 14 shooting, and Pistorius never received any of the weapons.
Pistorius was aware of gun safety and had passed a firearms safety test, Rens told the court. Rens read from a written firearms test he administered to Pistorius, demonstrating that Pistorius understood the safety requirements associated with operating a firearm, and when it may and may not be acceptable to discharge a firearm.
One specific hypothetical question outlined a scenario in which one sees strange armed men in one’s home stealing a stereo. Only in the scenario where two armed man advance on him in his home, with no security gate between them, did Pistorius reply that he would fire his gun.
In the section on "the importance of target identification," Pistorius answered, "Know your target and what lies beyond it".
Pistorius, 27, is charged with premeditated murder and could face at least 25 years in prison if convicted. He has said that he killed his girlfriend while shooting through a locked bathroom door because he mistook her for an intruder.
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