News that renowned paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius had allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend Reva Steenkamp sent Twitter into shock this morning.
The man known around the world as “Blade Runner” apparently mistook Steenkamp for a burglar after she entered his Pretoria home in the early hours of Thursday morning. According to Afrikaans-language newspaper Die Beeld, which broke the story, Steenkamp was shot in the arm and head.
Police have taken a 26-year-old suspect in for questioning, but could not name him until he had been formally charged.
There is speculation that Steenkamp, an FHM model and law graduate, may have been surprising Pistorius for Valentine’s Day. We must however stress that this has not been confirmed.
Update: Police have not confirmed whether or not the incident involved a case of mistaken identity, but said that investigations are ongoing. The Mail and Guardian reports that Pistorius will appear in court shortly for a bail hearing.
News of the shooting quickly spread across news channels and social media alike, with “Oscar Pistorius” trending globally on Twitter.
Most Twitter users showed outright shock when they found out about the incident:
— Deniz Kofteci (@DenizKofteci) February 14, 2013
Awful, awful, awful news about the tragedy surrounding @oscarpistorius . there are no words.
— Sarah Price (@SarahPriceWales) February 14, 2013
So tragically sad for Oscar Pistorius who has allegedly shot dead his girlfriend(thinking intruder)as she surprised him for Valentine’s day.
— Ann Bach (@createanedge) February 14, 2013
— Auntee Rik (@mizrik) February 14, 2013
Others used the incident to express their distaste for people being allowed to keep guns at home:
First thoughts on Oscar Pistorius: should there be + gun control? Home owners nervous over noise in the night because high violent crime.
— Johannes Myburgh (@johannesmyburgh) February 14, 2013
Looking forward to all the pro gun people stating that Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend would have lived if she had a gun….
— Thomas Curtis (@SeekTom) February 14, 2013
Don’t surprise someone who owns a gun. Olympic runner Oscar Pretorius mistakes girlfriend for intruder & kills her nyti.ms/12Nvuwj
— Nina L. Diamond (@ninatypewriter) February 14, 2013
So I’m hearing that this @oscarpistorius story might have been a tragic accident? He thought she was a burglar and shot her? I hate guns.
— H(@GoGetMyCoffee) February 14, 2013
Such sad news about Oscar Pistorius-This is exactly why people shouldn’t be allowed to own guns, one accident and it ends an innocent life!
— Ally Marie (@AllyDamon) February 14, 2013
While there was a lot of sympathy for Pistorius, some Twitter users were quick to remind their followers that they shouldn’t forget how Steenkamp’s family must have been feeling in the aftermath of the shooting:
I hate this Tweet … RIP @reevasteenkamp
— Jodene Shaer (@Jodenecoza) February 14, 2013
Despite my views on this whole situation, the most imporant – prayers & thoughts for @reevasteenkamp‘s family and even the Pistorius family
— Daniela Panzeri (@HungUpZA) February 14, 2013
Words can’t describe what a terrible loss this is. @reevasteenkamp was such an amazing girl. Thoughts go out to her family and friends
— TheBounce(@followthebounce) February 14, 2013
A glance Steenkamp’s Twitter timeline revealed a piece of tragic irony in the form of a tweet she sent out yesterday:
— Reeva Steenkamp (@reevasteenkamp) February 13, 2013