Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oscar Pistorius charged with murder

South African police have charged Olympic star Oscar Pistorius with the murder of his girlfriend, who was shot in the sprinter's home Thursday.

Pistorius, 26, kept weapons at his gated, luxury South African home as a means of protection against his country's soaring crime rate, according to a British writer who had exclusive access to the Olympic sprinter.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, the 400 meter runner – the first man to compete in the Olympics and Paralympics – is believed to have used part of his weapons collection to tragically gun down his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Early reports had the alleged incident being reported as an accident, but police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes told the Associated Press that information did not come from police and that "it would be very premature and very irresponsible of me to say what actually has happened."

According to those initial reports, Pistorius mistook Steenkamp, a 30-year-old television personality and model, for an intruder as she entered his residence at 3 a.m. and allegedly shot her four times in the arms and head.

According to the Associated Press, police said there had "previously been incidents and allegations of a domestic nature at the home of Mr. Oscar Pistorius."

According to British writer Jonathan McEvoy, who was given unprecedented access to Pistorius in a broad-ranging 2011 Daily Mail interview, the athlete held serious concerns for his personal safety, perhaps unsurprisingly given his nation's appalling record of violence.

Steenkamp and Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner for the prosthetic blades on his legs that allowed him to compete, are understood to have met in November and embarked upon a whirlwind romance. The actress' Twitter account painted the picture a joyful relationship when she asked her followers what they were planning for Valentine's Day.

Pistorius reached the semifinals of the 400m and the final of the 4x400m relay at the London Olympics, before later adding his fifth and sixth Paralympic golds.

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