Oscar Pistorius, the first double amputee to participate in the Olympic Games, was charged with murder after his girlfriend was fatally shot in his South African home on Thursday. He will appear in court on Friday. Police officials say they plan to oppose Pistorius’ anticipated application for bail.
In accordance with South African laws, police haven’t released many details. What is known is that Pistorius and his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, were the only ones present at the luxury home in Pretoria when the incident occurred. Steenkamp was reportedly shot four times.
Initial reports said that Pistorius accidentally fired upon Steenkamp when he mistook her for an intruder. Police spokeswoman Denise Beukes denied the legitimacy of those reports, according to the New York Times. Beukes said that police have responded to previous complaints of a “domestic nature” at Pistorius’ home, but she declined to give more information.
Pistorius’ father Henke Pistorius spoke with the South African Broadcast Corporation on Thursday.
“It will be extremely obnoxious and rude to speculate,” he said. “I don’t know the facts. If anyone makes a statement, it will have to be Oscar. He’s sad at the moment.”
Pistorius gained international fame when he competed as a sprinter during the 2012 London Olympics and subsequent Paralympics. Deemed the “Blade Runner,” Pistorius was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated below the knee before he turned one. An ever-driven athlete, Pistorius was fitted for special carbon fiber blades.
Although he qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, track and field’s world governing body ruled his prosthetic limbs gave him an unfair advantage. With the help of a legal team, Pistorius proved that the limbs did not give him an advantage. He was permitted to participate in the London Olympics, where he reached the 400-meter semifinal. He won the individual gold for the 400-meters in the Paralympics later in the summer.