Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder after a woman believed to be his girlfriend was found shot to death in his home.
A South African athlete who inspired millions by overcoming his disability to become the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics is in jail today and charged with murder.
Oscar Pistorius, known as “Blade Runner” for the carbon fiber blades that replaced his legs after his below-the-knee amputations, is the only suspect in the shooting death of his 29-year-old girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.
Police in Pretoria were called to the home of Pistorius around 3 a.m. and found paramedics trying to revive Steenkamp, who had been shot four times with a 9-mm pistol that was recovered at the scene, according to the Associated Press.
Lt. Col. Katlego Mogale confirmed the woman died at the scene and that a 26-year-old man living in the home was taken into custody. South African police do not officially name suspects until they appear in court, but sources have confirmed that it was Pistorius who was arrested.
Local news reports suggest the athlete may have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder. The Johannesburg region is plagued by violent crime, and Pistorius has previously tweeted about his reaction to such a fear, writing, “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!”
However, police say there had been reports of previous domestic violence incidents at the residence, and that neighbors say they heard shouting in the apartment complex before the shooting.
Reeva Steenkamp was a model who recently appeared on the cover of FHM magazine and was due to star in an upcoming reality show.
Pistorius became one of the feel-good stories of the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the men’s 400-meter race as the first double-amputee to participate in the Games. He won gold and silver medals in last year’s Paralympics.
Steenkamp’s tragic last tweet read, “What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay.”