‘Blade runner’ Pistorius faces murder charge

South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is facing a murder charge after his girlfriend was shot and killed at his Pretoria home.

BBCsport.

His arrest over the death of model Reeva Steenkamp has stunned the country where he is considered a national hero.

Police said a 26-year-old man would appear in court on Friday.

Pistorius, 26, made history in London last year when he became the first double-amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympic Games.

He is known as the “blade runner” because of the carbon fibre prosthetic blades he races in. He was born without a fibula in both legs and had his legs amputated below the knee before his first birthday.

Police were called to his home in the upmarket Silver Woods gated compound on the outskirts of South Africa’s administrative capital in the early hours of Thursday morning.

They found paramedics treating a 29-year-old woman with four gunshot wounds to the head and upper body. She died at the scene, and officers recovered a 9mm pistol.

Early reports suggested Pistorius might have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder.

Police say neighbours heard screaming and shouting around the time of the shooting, and that they had been called to investigate incidents of a domestic nature at the same house in the past.

They also said that they would oppose any bail application.

Hours later, after being questioned by police, Pistorius left a police station accompanied by officers, his face mostly covered by the hood of a grey jacket.

His court hearing was originally scheduled for Thursday afternoon but had been postponed until Friday to give forensic investigators time to carry out their work, said Medupe Simasiku, a spokesman for the prosecution.

Pistorius’s father, Henke, declined to comment but said: “We all pray for guidance and strength for Oscar and the lady’s parents.”

Sarit Tomlinson, Reeva Steenkamp’s publicist, described her client as “an absolute angel”.

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