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.
“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.