World

'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius In Custody After Girlfriend's Shooting Death

NPR | Feb. 14, 2013 10:50 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa leaving the starting blocks of the men's 400-meters race at the 2012 London Olympics.

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa leaving the starting blocks of the men's 400-meters race at the 2012 London Olympics.

Getty Images, Michael Steele

South African Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius “has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend,” The Associated Press reports from Pretoria.

Thirty-year-old Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed inside Pistorius’ home early Thursday, police say.

The AP adds that:

“Police said a 26-year-old male would appear in court later on Thursday. Police in South Africa do not name suspects in crimes until they have appeared in court but police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes said that Pistorius was at his home after the death of Steenkamp and ‘there is no other suspect involved.’ “

According to the athlete’s website, he was born on Nov. 22, 1986 — making him 26.

There is video of Beukes speaking to reporters posted here, on the website of South Africa’s News24. The news outlet also reports that:

“Pistorius arrived in a police convoy at the Mamelodi Day Hospital on Thursday following the Valentine’s Day shooting of model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp at his home. He was taken to the clinic at high speed following a period at the Boschkop police station in the morning. According to police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes, his blood alcohol levels would be tested, and his fingernails would be tested for forensic evidence.”

Pistorius made history at the London Olympics. He was the first amputee to ever run in the Games. Pistorius was, as his website says, born “without the fibula, the long, slender bone running along the outside of the leg from below the knee joint and down to the ankle, in each of his legs. His parents, Henk and Sheila, consulted with some of the leading doctors in the world before making the heart-wrenching decision to have his legs amputated below the knee by South African orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gerry Versveld.”

The BBC reminds us that:

“He reached the 400m semi-finals in the London 2012 Olympics. At the Paralympics he won silver in the T44 200m, gold in the 4x100 relay and gold in the T44 400m, setting a Paralympic record. For years he dominated in his category at successive Paralympic Games.”

Pistorius is known as the “blade runner” because of the carbon-fiber prosthetic legs he uses.

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