South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is in police custody after he allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend in the early hours of the morning, reportedly thinking she was an intruder.
Police have confirmed that a 26-year-old man is due before the courts this morning on an unspecified charge. She said a 30-year-old woman was found dead at a luxury housing estate east of Pretoria, shot in the head and the arm, and a 9mm pistol was recovered by police.
Local reports named him as Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee and Paralympic gold medallist.
Mr Pistorius’ agent Peet van Zyl said he was heading to Pretoria to speak to his client. “I hope I can have access to him at the police station,” he said. “At this point in time I can’t give any details about what has happened.
“Oscar is a humble person and a lovely guy – I’m sure what’s happened has been a terrible mistake but I really don’t have the details at the moment.”
He confirmed that Mr Pistorius had a steady girlfriend but declined to give her name. Local reports identified her as Reeva Steenkamp, a cover girl for the local edition of FHM magazine. Miss Steenkamp is understood to have given an interview to South Africa’s Sunday Times last weekend about her life with Mr Pistorius.
Police Captain Sarah Mcira said they would confirm the arrested man’s identity, and the woman’s, when he appeared before magistrates.
She declined to confirm reports that the man had shot what he believed to be an intruder.
“We are investigating all the allegations,” she said. “We don’t know what has transpired yet. This happened at 3am – we are still speaking to the estate security guards.
“I would imagine (the man in custody) is badly shaken.”
Radio news station 702 cited police sources as saying that Mr Pistorius was “traumatised” by the incident but is cooperating with detectives.
A close family friend confirmed to South Africa’s City Press newspaper that it was Miss Steenkamp who died early this morning in Pistorius’s luxury Pretoria home, saying the family was “devastated”.
Hundreds of messages of condolence streamed in on Twitter where Steenkamp had an active account.
She described herself as an “SA Model, Cover Girl, Tropika Island of Treasure Celeb Contestant, Law Graduate, Child of God”.
On Wednesday afternoon, she had tweeted: “What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay.”