A 30-year-old woman was shot to death at the South Africa home of double amputee Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorious.While the police had not confirmed that the woman was his girlfriend, initial reports were that he may have mistaken her for a burglar and shot her. According to an early Feb. 14 Associated Press article, police were called and told that there had been a shooting at the Olympian's home. Police arrived to find paramedics attempting to revive the woman. She was shot multiple times and died at the house.
After finding a 9 millimeter pistol at the scene, police took 26 year old Pistorius into custody for questioning. He was arrested and charged with the murder of self-described model and law school graduate Reeva Steenkamp. According to a Feb. 14 article in the New York Times, Ms. Steenkamp and Mr. Pistorius were frequently recognized by South African media as a golden couple at society events. However, the police responded to previous complaints of a “domestic nature” at the runner’s home.
Pistorious was initially expected to appear in court on Thursday but will be held over until Friday, when a bail hearing will be conducted. No motive besides a rush to shoot has been established and Pistorious was said to have been in a good mood before the shooting. His father, Henke Pistorius, said that he had been in an excellent frame of mind and was in training. He never Ms. Steenkamp or discussed the relationship.
He lives in a secure complex with high walls and razor wire near the South African capital of Pretoria. South Africa has one of the world’s highest violent crime rates where armed robbery break-ins are common. Legal handgun ownership is also common, but with some restrictions.
Pistorious made world history as the first double-amputee Olympian to compete in track and field. He lost both his legs below the knee when he was a child because he was born without fibulas. He spent years fighting to be allowed to compete as an equal to all athletes until the highest court authority for track and field ruled in his favor.
He competed on South Africa's 4 x 400 relay team at the London Olympic Games while retaining his Paralympic title in the 400 meters, also in London. Also known as "The Blade" in honor of his distinctive artificial limbs, he won two gold medals and a silver medal at the Paralympic games.