Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Blade Runner' Charged with Murder of Girlfriend

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Blade Runner' Charged with Murder of Girlfriend

Article excerpt

PRETORIA, South Africa

Paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorius was charged today with the murder of his girlfriend who was shot inside his home in South Africa, a stunning development in the life of a national hero known as the Blade Runner for his high-tech artificial legs.

Reeva Steenkamp, a model who spoke out on Twitter against rape and abuse of women, was shot four times in the predawn hours in the house, in a gated community in the capital, Pretoria, police said.

Hours later after undergoing police questioning, Pistorius left a police station accompanied by officers. He looked down as photographers snapped pictures, the hood on his gray workout jacket pulled up, covering most of his face. His court hearing was originally scheduled for today but has been postponed until Friday to give forensic investigators time to carry out their work, said Medupe Simasiku, a spokesman for the prosecution.

South Africans were shocked at the killing. But while Pistorius captured the nation's attention with his Olympic dreams, police said there was a history of problems.

There have "previously been incidents at the home of Mr. Oscar Pistorius," said police spokeswoman Brigadier Denise Beukes. Police in South Africa do not name suspects in crimes until they have appeared in court but Beukes said that the 26-year-old Pistorius was at his home at the time of the death of Steenkamp and "there is no other suspect involved."

"Yes, there are witnesses and there have also been interviews this morning," Beukes told reporters outside the gated complex where Pistorius lived. "We are talking about neighbors and people that heard things that happened earlier in the evening and when the shooting took place."

Pistorius' father, Henke, declined to comment, only saying "we all pray for guidance and strength for Oscar and the lady's parents."

Neither Pistorius' agent Peet van Zyl nor coach Ampie Louw could be reached.

Former coach, Andrea Giannini, said he hopes it was "just a tragic accident. …

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