Paralympic and Olympic star Oscar Pistorius has allegedly shot dead his girlfriend after mistaking her for an intruder. Police in South Africa have confirmed that the athlete will be charged with murder this afternoon at a Pretoria courtroom. Police say that they have had reports of domestic disturbances at Pistorius’ house.
A body was discovered at the athlete’s home in the Silverwoods country estate in eastern Pretoria, South African police said.
A journalist in South Africa has told Sky News that Pistorius’ girlfriend was allegedly shot as she woke him, trying to surprise him on Valentine’s day.
Pistorius was arrested early Thursday morning following the shooting and is expected in court later.
The 26-year-old is alleged to have shot his 30-year-old girlfriend in the head and arms.
Paramedics were called to his home between 4am and 5am local time.
Police arrived shortly afterwards and a 9mm pistol was recovered from the scene.
“The deceased was shot four times and died on the scene. It is believed that she was the girlfriend of the accused,” said police spokesman Katlego Mogale.
South African journalist Kalay Maistry told Sky News: “It is alleged that he thought his girlfriend, who’d come in to try to surprise him for Valentines Day, was an intruder. It’s alleged that he shot her at least twice in the arm and head.
“I think what this actually highlights is the level of fear ordinary South Africans have.
“This is a man who has gone to bed, it’s an innocent surprise from a girlfriend … and the moment he thinks someone is trying to break in he grabs his gun.
“This has come as a complete surprise for a man who’s considered a national hero.”
The athlete know as the “Blade Runner” made history in 2012 when he became the first amputee to compete in the Olympics.
He won gold in the 4x400m relay at the Paralympic Games.
The athlete had both legs amputated below the knee before he was aged one, because of a congenital condition, and runs on carbon fibre blades.
Last year Time Magazine named him as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.
Silverwoods is understood to be a high security estate with electrified walls, a guarded entrance and regular patrols.
South Africa has some of the world’s highest rates of violent crime and some home-owners carry weapons to defend themselves against intruders.