Blade runner shoots dead girl friend

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Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius has been arrested after his girlfriend was shot dead at his home in Pretoria, police and South African media say.

Afrikaans-language newspaper Beeld is reporting he mistook the woman, his girlfriend of a year, for a burglar to his Pretoria home.

Johannesburg's Talk Radio 702 said Pistorius was understood to have shot his girlfriend in the head and arm.

Police spokesman Katlego Mogale said a "26-year-old man had been taken into custody for shooting a 30-year-old woman".

Mogale could not confirm if the suspect was Pistorius, saying his identity would be revealed only once he appears in court later on Thursday (Friday NZT).

"The deceased was shot four times and died on the scene. It is believed that she was the girlfriend of the accused," said Mogale.

Beeld said Pistorius had been arrested, and was expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

Pistorius is believed to live in a heavily guarded, gated compound called Silverwoods Country Estate in Pretoria's east.

Pistorius, who races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades after he was born without a fibula in both legs, was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics and reached the 400 metres semi-finals in London 2012.

Nicknamed ‘‘the Blade Runner’’, the 26-year-old has been a trailblazer for disabled athletes, and was hailed as an inspiration by many of the able-bodied athletes during the London Games.

Pistorius has won eight Paralympic medals across three Olympics, comprising six gold, one silver and one bronze. He won two Paralympic golds and a silver in London.

Pistorius went on to carry the flag for South Africa in the Closing Ceremony, before winning two golds and a silver in the Paralympics.

- Stuff, Reuters, Sydney Morning Herald