Charged ... Oscar Pistorius. Photo: Getty
SOUTH AFRICAN Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder after he allegedly shot and killed his model girlfriend.
Local media initially reported that the 26-year-old mistook Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder inside his Pretoria home. South African police said they were unaware of this.
A police spokeswoman said there had been previous incidents at the address, describing them as ‘‘allegations of a domestic nature’’. She said neighbours had been questioned over reports of an argument heard earlier in the night.
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp
Paralympic gold medallist charged with murder after his girlfriend was found shot dead in his home. Photo: AP
The swimsuit-model and law graduate was shot four times, including in the head and arm, and died at the scene at 4am Thursday local time.
Pistorius, wearing a hooded top pulled over his face, was taken to the local police station to be charged.
He was expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court later on Thursday.
Police in South Africa do not name suspects in crimes until they have appeared in court but police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes said that Pistorius was at his home after the death of Steenkamp and "there is no other suspect involved".
The couple had been dating since last November and Ms Steenkamp’s publicist, Sarit Tomlinson, they had a ‘‘healthy, fabulous relationship’’.
The model was due to star in a celebrity edition of a South African reality television show which was scheduled to start on the weekend.
‘‘She was the kindest most unbelievable girl,’’ she said. ‘‘At the moment it’s just shocking. No one knows what happened ... she was a rising star.’’
Less than a day before the shooting, Miss Steenkamp tweeted: ‘‘What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay’’.
Pistorius lives in the Silver Wood Estate complex, in Pretoria’s east, a gated community that markets itself as a ‘‘new prestigious security estate’’ with 24-hour security.
The gold medallist, who races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades after he was born without a fibula in both legs, was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics and reached the 400 metres semi-finals in London.
He has been a trailblazer for disabled athletes, and was hailed as an inspiration by many of the able-bodied athletes during the London Games. Pistorius went on to carry the flag for South Africa in the closing ceremony.
Pistorius has won eight Paralympic medals across three Olympics, comprising six gold, one silver and one bronze. He won two Paralympic golds and a silver in London.
His first race for 2013 was due to take place in Australia. He was scheduled to arrive in Sydney on March 6 and compete in able-bodied 400m events in Sydney on March 9 and Perth on March 16.