South African Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was charged with murder Thursday after the shooting death of his girlfriend of a few months, model Reeva Steenkamp. The athlete, affectionately known as “Blade Runner” because of his prosthetic lower limbs, is due in court later today or tomorrow.
Reeva Steenkamp, an advocate for rape and abuse victims, was found dead in the early morning hours Thursday in the home of Pistorius in a gated community in Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa. She was shot four times in the hands and head. Though South African police do not release the names of suspects until they appear in court, an official did note during an afternoon press conference that police had been called to the home for previous incidents including “allegations of a domestic nature.”
The arrest and allegations are a surprise to the sporting community. Oscar Pistorius rose to fame as a Paralympic sprinter after having both lower legs amputated at 11 months old. He petitioned the Olympic governing board and won an opportunity to compete in the 2012 London Olympic Games. He was a semifinalist in the 400m and a finalist as a part of the 4x400m relay team.
Previous reports stated Pistorius may have mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder, however the police spokesperson was quick to refute those claims. She made it clear that those statements were not released by the cops and they were still investigating the scene, and would make no speculations through the media.