Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Police in South Africa have confirmed Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder after his girlfriend was shot dead at his home.

Pistorius, 26, is due to appear in court to face a murder charge after he allegedly shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp four times at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.

Officers found a 9mm pistol at the scene and took Pistorius into custody. Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner, is expected to appear before Pretoria magistrates on  Friday (15 February).

Police spokesperson Sarah Mcira said police now have 48 hours to question the runner and continue investigations before he is brought before the court.

Police spokeswoman Katlego Mogale previously said: "I can confirm that a woman has been fatally wounded in a shooting at Oscar Pistorius' house.

"A 26-year-old man has been taken into custody.

"The incident happened at 3am. We received a call and attended the scene. The call did not come from the man in custody but from another person.

'Currently there is an inquiry into what happened.

"The deceased was shot four times and died on the scene."

A police spokesperson told reporters there had been previous allegations of a "domestic nature" at the home of Pistorius, but did not elaborate on this. 

Police added they are "surprised" at the earlier reports suggesting that Pistorius shot the 29-year-old after he mistook her for an intruder and this information "did not come from them".

Officers have also said that witnesses reported "noises" coming from Pistorius' home earlier in the evening of the shooting. 

Pistorius' agent Peet van Zyl told The Daily Telegraph: "I hope I can have access to him at the police station. At this point in time I can't give any details about what has happened.

"Oscar is a humble person and a lovely guy - I'm sure what's happened has been a terrible mistake but I really don't have the details at the moment."

South Africa's Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee have issued a statement saying they are not in a position to comment about the shooting. 

A spokesperson said: "Sascoc, like the rest of the public, knows no more than what is in the public domain, which is there has been an alleged fatal shooting on the basis of a mistaken identity and an apparent assumption of a burglary.

"The organisation is in no position to comment on the incident other than to say our deepest sympathy and condolences have been expressed to the families of all concerned."

The International Paralympic Committee added: "The IPC would like to offer its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families involved in this case."

Pistorius, who wears carbon fibre prosthetic blades to race, made history last year when he became the first double amputee to run in both the Olympics and Paralympic games, competing in the 400m and 4x400m relay.

The Johannesburg-born athlete who was born without fibulas in his legs and had the limbs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old.

He won a legal battle with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2008 for the right to compete in able-bodied competitions.

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