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PARALYMPIC athlete Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder over the fatal shooting of his girlfriend at his home in South Africa.
By: Charlotte Meredith
Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius is reportedly being questioned for shooting his girlfriend
Former FHM model Reeva Steenkamp, 30, who had been dating the sports star since November has been named as the victim.
The precise circumstances surrounding the incident are still unravelling, but police confirmed to local media that the model – who died at the scene – was shot four times in the head and arm.
Reports say the star athlete may have mistaken his girlfriend for a burglar at 4am this morning in what could have been a Valentine’s Day surprise gone tragically wrong.
South Africa has among the highest rates of crime in the world and many residents keep weapons to protect themselves against intruders.
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp, who was fatally shot this morning
A murder case against Mr Pistorius has now been opened.”We found a 9mm pistol at the scene. A 26-year-old man was taken into custody,” police spokeswoman Katlego Mogale said.
Local media say the model’s body was removed from the scene at the athletes large farm located in north-east Johannesburg in the Pretoria region of South Africa, which is heavily guarded.
Brigadier Denis Beukes also said there had previously been incidents of a “domestic nature” at Pistorius’ home.
Pistorius, who previously revealed in interviews that he slept with a pistol next to his bed and kept a machine gun by a window, will appear in court later today.
Police say the couple were the only people in the home at the time, there was no sign of forced entry and said the claim that Pistorius had thought his girlfriend was an intruder had not come from them.
Brigadier Denise Beukes said “There are witnesses and they have been interviewed this morning. We are talking about neighbours and people that heard things earlier in the evening and when the shooting took place.”
Pistorius’s father said his son was sad after the shooting: “He is a bit emotional, but he is fine.”
“It will be extremely obnoxious and rude to speculate. I don’t know the facts. If anyone makes a statement, it will have to be Oscar. He’s sad at the moment.”
Officials added that an application for bail by Pistorius’s lawyer Kenny Oldwage would be opposed when he appears in court tomorrow.
Pistorius was taken to hospital this morning for a medical examination police said was a “standard procedure.”
Oscar Pistorius is being questioned over the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp
Pistorius is in police custody after a woman was shot four times and killed
South African journalist Kalay Maistry told Sky News: “I think what this actually highlights is the level of fear ordinary South Africans have.
“This is a man who has gone to bed, it’s an innocent surprise from a girlfriend … and the moment he thinks someone is trying to break in he grabs his gun.
“This has come as a complete surprise for a man who’s considered a national hero.”
Oscar Pistorius after winning his gold medal at the Paralympic games in 2012
Just yesterday Miss Steenkamp spoke excitedly on Twitter about her plans for Valentine’s Day.
She said: “What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay”
Pistorius – famously known as the “blade runner” – was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics.
The star became a national hero in South Africa after reaching the 400m semi-finals in the London 2012 Olympics.
At the Paralympics he won gold in the T44 400m, setting a Paralympic record.