Oscar Pistorius Faces Murder Charge
South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder after his girlfriend was shot and killed at his Pretoria home. His arrest over the death of model Reeva Steenkamp has stunned the country where he is considered a national hero.
Reeva Steenkamp (Pistorius Girlfriend)
Mr Pistorius, 26, made history in London last year when he became the first double-amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. He reached the 400m semi-finals in the London 2012 Olympics. At the Paralympics he won silver in the T44 200m, gold in the 4×100 relay and gold in the T44 400m, setting a Paralympic record.
He is known as the “blade runner” because of the carbon fibre prosthetic blades he races in. He was born without a fibula in both legs and had his legs amputated below the knee before his first birthday.
Police were called to his home in the upmarket Silver Woods gated compound on the outskirts of South Africa’s administrative capital in the early hours of Thursday 14th February 2013. They found paramedics treating a 29-year-old woman with four gunshot wounds to the head and upper body. She died at the scene, and officers recovered a 9mm pistol.
Early reports suggested Mr Pistorius might have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder.
Police say neighbours heard screaming and shouting around the time of the shooting, and that they had been called to investigate incidents of a domestic nature at the same house in the past.
Hours later, after being questioned by police, Mr Pistorius left a police station accompanied by officers, his face mostly covered by the hood of a grey jacket. His court hearing was originally scheduled for Thursday afternoon but had been postponed until Friday to give forensic investigators time to carry out their work.
Miss Steenkamp’s publicist confirmed that the 29-year-old model had died. “Everyone who knew her is in tears. She was an absolute angel, the sweetest, sweetest human being, a kind human being,” Sarit Tomlinson said.