South African Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius has been arrested after his model girlfriend was shot dead at his home.
According to local media reports, Reeva Steenkamp, 30, may have been mistaken for an intruder at the property in the Silver Lakes Golf Estate in Boschkop in the capital Pretoria. There was speculation the shooting may have been a Valentine’s Day surprise gone wrong.
Miss Steenkamp, described in her Twitter biography as a model, cover girl and law graduate, had tweeted about Valentine’s Day yesterday, writing: “What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay”.
Police spokeswoman Lt Col Katlego Mogale told the South African Press Association police were called to Pistorius’s home following the shooting.
She said: “Paramedics declared the woman dead on the scene and police proceeded with their investigation. The woman sustained wounds to her head and the upper body.” A 9mm pistol was recovered. According to unconfirmed reports four shots were fired.
Lt Col Mogale said a 26-year-old man was expected to appear at Pretoria Magistrate’s Court later. The officer was quoted in local media as saying: “At this stage we are still conducting a preliminary inquiry. Statements are conducted with neighbours and people who were at the scene. A case of murder was being investigated.”
Pistorius is known as the Blade Runner because of the ground-breaking prosthetics he uses for racing. He made history at the London 2012 Olympics when he became the first amputee sprinter to compete in the able-bodied Games, running in the 400m and 4x400m relay.
Tropika Island of Treasure – an entertainment show starring Steenkamp due to be broadcast this weekend – posted a tribute to her on its website. It says: “We are deeply saddened and extend our condolences to Reeva’s family and friends.”
Athletes joined fans in paying tribute to Miss Steenkamp. Jessica Ennis spoke of her shock on Twitter, describing the “the horrendous news” as “an awful tragedy”. Denise Lewis added: “Not a good morning athletics fans – News reports on Oscar Pistorius are unbelievable”.