'Blade Runner" Faces Murder Charge in the death of girlfriend, by Jon Gugala, note by Larry Eder

An alert beeped on my phone about two in the morning on Wednesday. BBC.com was reporting that Oscar Pistorius, aka the Blade Runner, one of the most popular athletes in the world, was being held by South African Police on the charge of allegedly shooting his girlfriend. As the story has changed several times since it was first posted, we asked that Jon Gugala, one of our top writers, pull this story together, as it stands...watch for more developments. 

Oscar Pistorious, photo by PhotoRun.net

"Blade Runner" Faces Murder Charge in the Death of Girlfriend


by Jon Gugala


PRETORIA, South Africa - At approximately 4 A.M. on Thursday morning, Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius, the first double-leg amputee to compete in the Olympic Games, allegedly shot to death his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in his home.


Early rumors suggested Steenkamp, 29, entered Pistorius's home to surprise him for Valentine's Day, was mistaken for a home invader, and was shot multiple times. However, police have denied that they released this information, a spokesperson saying, "It would be very premature and very irresponsible of [us] to say what actually has happened. There have been allegations. We are not sure."


A further sinister tone was added when police revealed there had been multiple incidents of "domestic disputes" at the home reported previously.


Pistorius, 26, was a last-minute addition to the 2012 South African Olympic squad, competing in the 400m and 4-by-400m events. In the former he advanced to the semifinal round, and in the latter competed in rounds and the final of the relay, in which the South Africans finished eighth out of nine.


Additionally, in the Paralympic Games later that summer he earned two gold medals in the 400m and 4-by-100m, and silver in the 200m.


An early report by the Herald Sun of Melbourne, Australia, said that Pistorius's city "was recently named one of the most dangerous places in the country when it comes to house robberies," and that gun ownership is "one of the world's highest," with 12.7 firearms per 100 people (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/more-sport/oscar-pistorius-shot-killed-girlfriend-reports/story-e6frfglf-1226578161509). Pistorius himself was a passionate firearm enthusiast, tweeting pictures of himself at a shooting range in November, and teaching a Sports Illustrated reporter to shoot during an interview.


While Pistorius was set to be arraigned later today, the AP reports his hearing has been rescheduled to Friday so that forensic experts could collect additional evidence. Police report that a 9mm handgun was taken into evidence, and witnesses were present at the scene. Police say Pistorius is the sole suspect.


RunBlogRun will report more information as it becomes available.




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