JOHANNESBURG: Double amputee and Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius has reportedly shot and killed his girlfriend after thinking she was a burglar.
According the Die Beeld website, the tragic incident took place at about 04:00 (South Africa time) today, at Pistorius' home in Silver Lakes, Pretoria.
Daily Mail quoted sources as saying the 30-year-old woman was shot at least four times and was treated by paramedics at the scene, but could not be saved.
The body of the woman, who has not been named, has been removed from the house and the athlete is being questioned.
Police spokesperson Katlego Mogale told the media that she could not confirm the man's identity until he appears in court.
She added that a 9mm pistol was recovered from the scene and a case of murder is being investigated.
The 26-year-old Pistorius, dubbed the 'Blade Runner', is being questioned by South African police over the incident, and will appear in court later in the day.
Police captain Sarah Mcira told local media that a woman - who died at the scene - was shot in the head and arm.
The police spokeswoman declined to confirm the identity of the man in custody.
"I can confirm that a woman has been fatally wounded in a shooting at Oscar Pistorius' house," the spokeswoman said.
South African journalist Kalay Maistry told Sky News: "It is alleged that he thought his girlfriend, who’d come in to try to surprise him for Valentines Day, was an intruder. It’s alleged that he shot her at least twice in the arm and head."
"I think what this actually highlights is the level of fear ordinary South Africans have."
"This is a man who has gone to bed, it’s an innocent surprise from a girlfriend … and the moment he thinks someone is trying to break in he grabs his gun."
"This has come as a complete surprise for a man who’s considered a national hero."
Pistorius was born with fibular hemimelia (congenital absence of the fibula) in both legs; his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles when he was 11 months old.
Pistorius, who races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades, was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics and reached the 400 semi-finals in London 2012. He was also part of South Africa's 4×400 metres relay team at the 2012 London Games.
He also took part in the 2012 Summer Paralympics, where he won gold medals in the men's 400 metre race in a Paralympic record time of 46.68 seconds and in the 4×100 metres relay in a world record time of 41.78 seconds. He also took a silver in the 200 metres race, having set a world record of 21.30 seconds in the semifinal.
South Africa has some of the world's highest rates of violent crime and some home-owners carry weapons to defend themselves against intruders.
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