South African Paralympic and Olympic athlete charged after his girlfriend found shot dead at his home
Oscar Pistorius, the South African “Blade Runner”, has been charged with murder after his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his home in Pretoria, South Africa, media have reported.
The precise circumstances are unclear, but police have confirmed to local media that a 30-year-old woman died at the scene after being shot in the head and arm.
Early reports said Pistorius may have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder, however, in a more recent police press conference, a spokeswoman dismissed those early reports and also revealed that police had been called to the athlete’s address in the past to deal with “allegations of a domestic nature”.
Speaking earlier this morning, South African journalist Kalay Maistry told Sky News: “It is alleged that he thought his girlfriend, who’d come in to try to surprise him for Valentines Day, was an intruder. It’s alleged that he shot her at least twice in the arm and head.”
The 26-year-old, who is known as the “Blade Runner” because he races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades, made history at London 2012 when he became the first double amputee to run in both the Olympics and Paralympics.
The London 2012 Olympic 400m semi-finalist also won gold in the T44 400m at the Paralympics, setting a Paralympic record in the process.
In a statement the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said it will not be passing any comment on the incident until the official police process has concluded, but added: “The IPC would like to offer its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families involved in this case.”