Olympian Oscar Pistorius Charged With Girlfriend's Murder
Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee runner from South Africa who competed at the London Olympic games, has been charged with the murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Steenkamp was shot at least twice at Pistorius' South African home on Thursday morning, NBC News reports.
The 26-year-old Pistorius, nicknamed "Blade Runner" for the prosthetic blades he sports on the track, attracted buzz last year for his compelling life story and hard-fought determination to run in mainstream competitions. Pistorius -- whose legs were both amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old -- is the first amputee track athlete to participate in any Olympic outing, qualifying for London's individual 400 and the 4x400 relay races.
Although authorities wouldn't disclose the victim's identity, a representative for Steenkamp told NBC News that she is dead and it's a "huge loss for everyone and too shocking for words." Steenkamp, 30, had dated Pistorius for some two months; the blonde beauty and law school graduate tweeted Wednesday, "What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow? #getexcited #ValentinesDay."
While media outlets reported that Pistorius might have accidentally shot Steenkamp because he thought she was an intruder, a South African police spokesperson said authorities were "very surprised" about press coverage of the incident and that there was no evidence of forced entry. The spokesperson confirmed there had been prior reports of domestic violence at Pistorious' home and that authorities were talking to Pistorious' neighbors about the shooting.
Pistorious, a Paralympics gold medalist whose brand sponsorships include Nike and Oakley, will appear in court Friday, and police intend to oppose bail, The Associated Press reports (via USA Today). He is the only suspect involved in the murder case, and according to the AP, a 9 mm pistol was discovered at the scene.