Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was arrested on Valentine’s Day after he shot and killed his 30-year-old girlfriend, “FHM” cover model Reeva Steenkamp, in his home in Pretoria, reports the New York Times.
The 26-year-old Paralympic champion, the first double-amputee to run in the Olympics — he competed in the London Games, reaching the semifinals of the 400-meter — was taken into custody after the shooting early Thursday morning at his home. According to the Associated Press, Lt. Col. Katlego Mogale, a police spokeswoman, said officers arrived at the scene after receiving a call about a shooting in the runner’s home, and found paramedics treating a 30-year-old woman for gunshot wounds. Pistorius apparently shot his girlfriend — a law-school graduate and model he’d been dating for the several months — in the head and arm, although the circumstances surrounding the incident were unclear, reported Johannesburg’s Talk Radio 702. The local media in South Africa was saying that Pistorius told the police the shooting was an accident and that he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar. Which isn’t a far-fetched claim: South Africa is plagued by one of the worst violent crime rates in the world, and especially break-ins by armed robbers, reports the New York Times. Handguns are legal, though there are restrictions.