THE PARALYMPIC GOLD medallist and Olympic competitor Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder after shooting dead his girlfriend in the early hours of this morning.
Initial reports from various South African news outlets suggested the 26-year-old, who became the first amputee to compete in the Olympics at London 2012, shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steencamp at his home in Silver Lakes, Pretoria, after mistaking her for an intruder.
However, authorities have told media personnel they have no idea where the report about the shooting being an accident after a case of mistaken identity came from.
Stating the reports that the victim was mistaken for an intruder “did not come from us” police spokeswoman Denise Beukes said “there’s previously been incidents of allegations of domestic disputes at the home of the accused.”
“The state will be opposing bail,” she added. Investigations, including the questioning of possible witnesses, continue.
Earlier, police spokeswoman Sarah Mcira confirmed that the 26-year-old star has been charged and will appear in court this afternoon, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Beeld says the incident took place at about 4am local time and that Pistorius was still at the scene when police came to question him. He was said to be in shock.
“I haven’t seen him, he is with the police and the matter is in the hands of the authorities,” said Henke Pistorius, the athlete’s father. “Obviously we are shocked.”
eNews Channel Africa said that a 9mm pistol was found at the scene and that the suspect has been taken for forensic tests, which will include blood-alcohol exams, scans for physical injuries and finger-nail DNA checks.
A police vehicle enters the housing estate where Olympian Oscar Pistorius lives, in Pretoria, South Africa. (AP/Press Association Images)
The athlete known as the “Blade Runner” made history in 2012 when he became the first amputee to compete in the Olympics.
He won gold in the 4x400m relay at the Paralympic Games.
He had both legs amputated below the knee before he was aged one, because of a congenital condition, and runs on carbon fibre blades.
Last year Time Magazine named him as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.
The victim, Reeva Steencamp, described herself on Twitter as a “SA Model, Cover Girl, Tropika Island of Treasure Celeb Contestant, Law Graduate and Child of God”.
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp at Tashas All White Party at Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, South Africa last month. (Image: Elite/EMPICS Entertainment)
At the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa in November. (Elite/EMPICS Entertainment)
- additional reporting from AFP and Sinéad O’Carroll