Olympian Oscar Pistorius Charged With Murder

JOHANNESBURG — The Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius, who made sporting history by becoming the first double amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics, was charged with murder on Thursday after a woman was fatally shot in his home in Pretoria, according to South African police officials.

The development stunned a nation that had elevated Mr. Pistorius to iconic status as a national sporting hero, an emblem of the ability to overcome acute adversity and a symbol of South Africa’s ability to project achievements onto the world stage.

Confirming the charges, police officials said they planned to oppose Mr. Pistorius’s expected application for bail at a court hearing scheduled for Friday. The police had initially said he would appear in court later on Thursday.

South African and other media quoted associates of the victim as identifying her as Reeva Steenkamp, a model whose Twitter page described her as a “cover girl” and a law school graduate. Ms. Steenkamp and Mr. Pistorius had frequently been seen together at society events and South African media identified her as his girlfriend, giving them the aura of a golden couple beloved by the society pages and photographers.

For more on this story visit: LYDIA POLGREEN and ALAN COWELL, The New York Times

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