South African police Thursday arrested double amputee Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius and said he would be charged with murder after his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was shot and killed at his home earlier in the morning.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes said that Pistorius was at his home after the death of the victim and that “there is no other suspect involved.”
“There are witnesses and they have been interviewed this morning. We are talking about neighbors and people that heard things earlier in the evening and when the shooting took place,” Beukes said.
Pistorius’ court hearing was originally scheduled for Thursday afternoon but has been postponed until Friday to give forensic investigators time to carry out their work.
The athlete’s father, Henke Pistorius, told South Africa’s SABC radio news that he didn’t know the facts. “If anyone makes a statement, it will have to be Oscar. He’s sad at the moment.”
Media in South Africa are reporting that Steenkamp was surprising Pistorius for Valentine’s Day when he mistook her for a burglar and shot her. Steenkamp was shot in the arm and head and a 9-mm pistol was recovered at the scene.
“We have also taken cognizance of the media reports during the morning of an alleged break-in or that the young lady was mistaken to be a burglar,” Beukes said. “Obviously our forensic investigation is still ongoing and we’re not sure where this report came from. … Our detectives have been on the scene, our forensic investigators have been on the scene and the investigation is ongoing.”
South African police said that there had been “previous incidents” of a domestic nature reported at Pistorius’ home.
Pistorius, 26, was born without the fibula bone in both legs. He was known as the “Blade Runner” for his use of carbon fiber prosthetic blades.
He was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics and reached the 400 meter semifinals in London 2012.