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Oscar Pistorius was elevated to hero status in his home country of South Africa after he made sporting history by becoming the first double amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics in 2012. Today the man known as the "blade runner" has been charged with murder after reportedly shooting his 30-year old model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp four times in his home in Pretoria .
Steenkamp was shot in the arm and head according to police spokesperson Captain Sarah Mcirca. A 9mm pistol was recovered at the scene.
South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp attend an awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa last November.(Photo: Lucky Nxumalo, AP)
Pistorius races using carbon fiber prosthetic blades. The 26-year old won two gold medals and a silver at last year’s Paralympic Games in London. In the 2012 Olympics he reached the 400-meter semifinal and competed in the 4x400 meter relay.
Oscar Pistorius, center, left the police station in Pretoria East in South Africa to be taken into custody on Thursday after a woman was fatally shot in his home.
Early Thursday morning, the police responded to a report of gunshots in the upscale housing complex where Mr. Pistorius lives. When they arrived they found a woman being treated by paramedics. Pistorius was arrested at the scene. He is not expected to receive bail.
“A case of murder has been opened," said Col. Katlego Mogale, a police spokeswoman.
There have been some reports that the victim was mistaken for a burglar.
"We have also taken cognizance of the media reports during the morning of an alleged break in or that the young lady was mistaken to be a burglar," Brigadier Denise Beukes said. "Obviously our forensic investigation is still ongoing and we're not sure where this report came from. ... Our detectives have been on the scene, our forensic investigators have been on the scene and the investigation is ongoing."
BBC's Andrew Harding reports that neighbors heard an altercation at the house late last night before shots were fired
Police said there have been "previous incidents" of a domestic nature reported at Pistorius' home.
In 2012 he was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time Magazine. Pistorius has sponsorship deals with brands including Nike, Oakley and the French fashion designer Thierry Mugler.
ABC News report
Wall Street Journal report