“Blade Runner” Olympian Oscar Pistorius Charged with Girlfriend’s Murder

A Valentine’s Day murder or a terrible accident? Olympian Oscar Pistorius has been arrested and charged in the death of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot inside the athlete’s South African home early Thursday.

Officers received a phone call around 3 a.m. local time reporting a shooting at the double amputee’s home in a gated housing complex in Pretoria. Authorities arrived to find Reeva suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. She died a short time later.

A national hero known as “Blade Runner” for his high-tech artificial legs, the South African media has speculated that Pistorius may have mistaken the young woman for an intruder. Police officials, on the other hand, spin a different tale. Authorities say the seemingly soft-spoken Pistorius had a history of “domestic incidents.” Neighbors reported hearing noise coming from the home earlier in the evening.

A 9mm pistol has been recovered and a murder case opened against Pistorius. He will appear in court on Friday.

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Steenkamp, who often tweeted messages urging women to stand up against violence, also tweeted her excitement about Valentine’s Day just hours before her death, writing:

“What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow? It should be a day of love for everyone.”

Oscar Pistorius made history in London last summer when he became the first double-amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. He had both his legs amputated below the knee before his first birthday due to a congenital condition and was initially banned because of his carbon fiber blades, which critics argued gave him an unfair advantage. He was cleared by sport’s highest court in 2008 and allowed to compete at top events.

Pistorius also retained his Paralympic title in the 400 meter dash.

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