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Crime

Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius due in court over girlfriend's murder

Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius is due in court on Friday a day after his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, was found shot dead in his house in Pretoria. He has been charged with her murder.

Pistorius' girlfriend, 30-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp, was shot four times by bullets fired from a gun owned by the Paralympian, police spokeswoman Brigadier Denise Beukes told reporters on Thursday.

"She was hit by four shots," adding that wounds were found in the head and hand.

Pistorius arrested after shooting

"It's a 9mm pistol. It is a licensed firearm. It is licensed to Mr Pistorius," said Beukes.

Beukes did not name the 26-year-old Pistorius, in accordance with South African law, but said he and the victim were the only people in the house at the time of the shooting.

"There is no other suspect involved," she said, adding that "previous incidents" of a domestic nature had been reported at the Pistorius home.

He underwent a medical examination later on Thursday, which reportedly included a blood-alcohol test and a check for signs of a struggle. He is expected to appear in court on Friday.

Police had earlier confirmed that a 30-year-old woman was found dead at his home in a gated complex in the country's capital, Pretoria.

"We found a nine-millimeter pistol at the scene. A 26-year-old man was taken into custody," police spokeswoman Katlego Mogale said. "The deceased was shot four times and died at the scene," she added.

The circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear, although various media outlets had initially reported that Pistorius may have mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar, a rumor the police later said was incorrect.

Johannesburg's Talk Radio 702 said the woman had been shot in the head and arm.

He had reportedly been dating Steenkamp for a year.

Historic career

Commonly known as the "blade runner," Pistorius made history in 2012 when he became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympic Games.

He went on to win gold in the 4 x 400 meters relay and the 400-meter individual at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. The athlete also took home three gold medals in the Beijing Paralympic Games four years earlier in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter races.

Pistorius races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades having had both legs amputated below the knee as a result of a congenital condition before his first birthday.

Last year he was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time Magazine.

ccp, jr/kms (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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