All of us watching last year’s Summer Olympics fell in love with Oscar Pistorius, the South African athlete who became the first paralympian to compete in the Olympics (in track & field events). American viewers got to see a really wonderful interview with Pistorius, done at his South African home, and Oscar became an inspirational figure of determination and guts for so many of us. Plus, girls liked him because he’s really good-looking. Well, happy Valentine’s Day – Oscar allegedly shot his girlfriend multiple times in his home in South Africa just hours ago.
Oscar Pistorius – the “Blade Runner” who made history last year as the first Paralympian to compete in the able-bodied Olympics – was charged with murder Thursday after his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, was found shot dead inside his home in South Africa.
CNN reports that neighbors reported an incident at the house and a pistol was recovered at the scene, according to police. Early news reports said Steenkamp was planning a Valentine’s surprise for Pistorius, 26, but that it went horribly wrong.
Police spokeswoman Denise Beukes said, “There is no other suspect involved” and that there had been “previous incidents” at Pistorius’s home.
The suspect (who initially was not named, per South African law) was being cooperative and undergoing blood alcohol and forensic tests, said Beukes, adding that he requested to be brought to court immediately and that an application for bail would be refused.
A spokeswoman for Pistorius declined to comment, said CNN. The athlete’s father, Henke, told the South African Broadcasting Corporation that his son was “sad at the moment.”
Henke Pistorius added, “It will be extremely obnoxious and rude to speculate. I don’t know the facts.”
Some media outlets (like People) are going with the “wait and see” approach about this murder, I guess the theory being that South Africa is a dangerous place and maybe Oscar thought Reeva was an intruder and he accidentally shot her. But while CNN acknowledges that South Africa has a high crime rate and that it wouldn’t be crazy to think that he could have “accidentally” shot his girlfriend, thinking she was an intruder, CNN spoke to the police spokesperson Denise Beukes, and she throws some shade on that theory.
“We can confirm he was taken to a police station but can’t confirm if he is the suspect,” said police spokeswoman Denise Beukes. “You will find out in the afternoon.”
Beukes said the home did not appear to show signs of forced entry and that Pistorius and the victim were the only two people at the time of the shooting.
She also said there had “previous incidents” at the home.
“Allegations of a domestic nature,” Beukes said.
Police said Pistorius was cooperating with them. Several South African media outlets reported that the woman was mistaken for an intruder. Beukes said she was aware of the reports, but that they did not come from the police force.
A spokeswoman for Pistorius declined to comment. His father, Henke, told the South African Broadcasting Corporation said Pistorius was “sad at the moment.”
“I don’t know nothing. It will be extremely obnoxious and rude to speculate,” the father said. “I don’t know the facts.”
Police were alerted to the shooting by neighbors and that residents “heard things earlier,” Buekes said.
A pistol was recovered at the scene, police said. South Africa has a high crime rate, and it’s not unusual for homeowners to keep weapons to protect themselves from intruders.
“This is a very quiet area and this is a secure estate,” Buekes said.
So while people are bending over backwards to make excuses for how a beloved Olympian could have shot his girlfriend, the South African police spokesperson is basically saying that it’s looking more and more like a man with a history of domestic violence shot his girlfriend. Ugh. Oscar is due in court later today for what I assume is the reading of the formal murder charges against him.
PS… Happy V-Day. #OneBillionRising.
Photos courtesy of WENN.