South African police have charged Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot at his home Thursday (Feb. 14), reports the AP.
The runner keeps weapons in his luxury home as a means of protection in a country with a soaring crime rate. He is believed to have used part of his collection to gun down his girlfriend. He will likely appear in court on Friday.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes tells the AP that reports that the shooting was an accident did not come from the police and adds that it would “be very premature and very irresponsible of me to say what actually has happened.”
The initial reports say that Pistorius mistook Steenkamp, a 30-year-old model, for an intruder in the early hours of Thursday morning and allegedly shot her four times. However, the AP reports that police say there had “previously been incidents and allegations of a domestic nature at the home of Mr. Oscar Pistorius.”
British writer Jonathan McEvoy, who profiled Pistorius in an in-depth 2011 interview, tells Yahoo Sports that he saw the sprinter’s weapons collection when he visited his home for the interview.
“I spoke to him at his house and when we went upstairs to his bedroom so that our photographer could take photos of his running blades, that was when I saw the weapons,” says McEvoy. “There was the pistol by the bed, the machine gun up against the wall, the baseball bat under the window, a cricket bat too. He was concerned by safety and security to a high level, there was no doubt about that.”
Pistorius made headlines at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London because he runs on two prosthestic blades. He had double below-knee amputations at the age of 11 months old after being born with a congenital absence of the fibula in both legs. Pistorius made the semifinals of the 400 meter race and the finals of the 4×400 meter relay at the London games.