PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was arrested Thursday after a 30-year-old woman was shot dead at his home in South Africa.
Police said the 26-year-old Pistorius, a double-amputee known as “Blade Runner,” was taken into custody after the shooting early Thursday morning at his home in a gated complex.
Lt. Col. Katlego Mogale told The Associated Press that police received a call that there had been a shooting at the runner’s home. Mogale said when police arrived, they found paramedics trying to revive the woman, who had been shot an unspecified number of times. Mogale, who was at the scene, said the woman died at the home. Police have not released the name of the woman.
Officers found a 9-mm pistol at Pistorius’ home. Mogale said Pistorius was expected to appear in court later Thursday.
Several South African media outlets reported that the woman was Pistorius’ girlfriend and that he may have mistaken her for a burglar and shot her, but police did not clarify the woman’s relationship to Pistorius.
South Africa’s Sports Confederation and Olympic committee released a statement saying they had been “inundated” with requests for comment, but were not in a position to give out any details of the shooting.
“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 South African Olympic committee said. “The organization 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.”
SACOC said it would be inappropriate to comment because of the ongoing police investigation.
Pistorius made history in London last year when he became the first double-amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. He is one of South Africa’s and the world’s most famous athletes.
Having had both his legs amputated below the knee before his first birthday because of a congenital condition, he campaigned for years to be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes. Having initially been banned because of his carbon fiber blades — which critics said gave him an unfair advantage — he was cleared by sport’s highest court in 2008 and allowed to run at the top events.
He competed in the 400 meters and on South Africa’s 4×400 relay team at the London Games, making history after being have his selection confirmed on South Africa’s team at the very last minute. He also retained his Paralympic title in the 400 meters in London.