Man arrested after fatal shooting at Pistorius home
14/02/2013 - 07:39:58
A 26-year-old man has been arrested, reported locally to be Oscar Pistorius, after a 30-year-old woman was fatally shot this morning at the home of the Paralympian.
The dead woman is widely reported in South Africa's media to be Pistorius' girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The circumstances surrounding the incident in the Silver Lakes area of Pretoria are unclear. Reports are speculating that the shooter may have mistaken her for a burglar.
The spokeswoman declined to confirm the identity of the man in custody.
"I can confirm that a woman has been fatally wounded in a shooting at Oscar Pistorius' house," the spokeswoman said. "A 26-year-old man has been taken into custody."
The spokeswoman added: "The incident happened at 3am. We received a call and attended the scene. The call did not come from the man in custody but from another person. Currently there is an inquiry into what happened."
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.
The Johannesburg-born athlete, who was born without fibulas in his legs and had the limbs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, had to win a legal battle over his blades with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2008 for the right to compete in able-bodied competition.
Kribani Pillay, from Johannesburg's Talk Radio 702, told Sky that police had arrested a 26-year-old man believed to be Pistorius on suspicion of murder.
Miss Pillay said the area around Pistorius’ home was “teeming” with emergency services, media and onlookers.
She confirmed that there was speculation the shooting may have been a Valentine’s Day surprise gone wrong.
Ms Steenkamp was active on Twitter just 14 hours ago.
Described in her Twitter biography as a model, cover girl and law graduate, Ms Steenkamp tweeted about Valentine’s Day.
She said: “What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay”.
In response to someone else’s plans, she said: “That sounds amazing! Wow that’s what it’s all about! It should be a day of love for everyone :) may it be blessed!”
Steenkamp's publicist Sarit Tomlinson told Sky News: “It's shocking. No one knows what happened.
“We're waiting for information. There are people we are waiting to speak to, to validate some of the stories.''
She described Steenkamp as a “rising star”.
“There was so much in the pipeline for her,” said Ms Tomlinson. “She was just about to explode into the media. A very talented, very bright young girl. It’s a huge loss for everyone. It’s just too shocking for words.”
Asked how much she would miss Steenkamp, she added: “There’s no words to describe how much. Our condolences to her family, because for her family it’s all about them right now.”
Athletics South Africa declined to comment this morning, with a spokeswoman saying it was a private matter.
A UK-based spokeswoman for the athlete also declined to comment.
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