The heartwarming story of Oscar Pistorius, who made history as the first Paralympian to compete in the Olympics last year, has taken a tragic turn. The double-amputee, who's known as "Blade Runner," has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting 30-year-old Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria, South Africa. Steenkamp, his girlfriend, died after paramedics failed to revive her. Police say she was shot four times.
Pistorius was arrested by police and taken to a hospital for medical examination, including blood tests. Initial reports and speculation claim Pistorius mistakenly took Steenkamp for a burglar after she tried to wake up him (on Valentine's Day, no less).
She was looking forward to the holiday, according to haunting messages from her Twitter account:
@gossig That sounds amazing! Wow that's what it's all about! It should be a day of love for everyone :) may it be blessed!— Reeva Steenkamp (@reevasteenkamp) February 13, 2013
Pretoria police said there have been previous incidents at Pistorius's address and described them as "allegations of a domestic nature."
Pistorius lives in the house with a friend from high school, an engineer who moonlights as a mixed-martial-arts fighter. Pistorius had recently broken off a relationship with his longtime girlfriend, though another young woman was visiting when we got there. As he put together lunch for all of us — fruit smoothies, breaded chicken fillets he pulled from the refrigerator — he mentioned that a security alarm in the house had gone off the previous night, and he had grabbed his gun and tiptoed downstairs. (It turned out to be nothing.) [...]
“We should go to the range,” he said. He fetched his 9-millimeter handgun and two boxes of ammunition. We got back in the car and drove to a nearby firing range, where he instructed me on proper technique. Pistorius was a good coach. A couple of my shots got close to the bull’s-eye, which delighted him. “Maybe you should do this more,” he said. “If you practiced, I think you could be pretty deadly.” I asked him how often he came to the range. “Just sometimes when I can’t sleep,” he said.
Update II: Nike has pulled this Pistorius ad, for obvious reasons:
This post has been updated throughout.