Oscar Pistorius Charged with Murder

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Shocking news is emerging from South Africa after it has been revealed that Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has shot and killed his girlfriend- Reeva Steenkamp. Early reports suggested that he mistook her for a burglar at his home in Pretoria- possibly after a Valentine's Day surprise went wrong. However, police have since revealed that such reports hadn't come from them and that they were "surprised" to hear them being circulated. 

Local media reported that police are holding the 26-year-old in custody as part of a murder investigation and he is expected to appear in court on Friday afternoon. A police statement said a 30-year-old woman was "fatally wounded" after being shot with a 9mm pistol in the head and upper body. Police were called in the early hours of the morning to find paramedics already at the scene, but were unable to save the woman who died at the scene.

Further reports from neighbours have suggested that shouting had been heard from the house earlier in the evening and that police had been called on previous occasions after reports of "a domestic nature".

Reeva Steenkamp is a well known model in South Africa and had been dating Pistorius since November last year.

National Icon

The news has come as a major shock in South Africa where Pistorius is a national icon for his exploits on the running track. Known as the ‘Blade Runner' due to the two carbon fibre prosthetic ‘legs' he runs with, he dominated the 100m, 200m and 400m events in his category of disability for years, becoming one of the best known athletes in the world. At London 2012 he became the first double amputee to run at the Olympics, reaching the semi-finals.

Whilst the South African and International Olympic Committees have declined to comment at the moment, Ed Warner, head of UK Athletics, described the incident as "shocking and very sad," and that: "Pistorius is one of the great icons of Paralympic athletics but also of able-bodied athletics too".

We will bring you all the latest developments on this as more information emerges.

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