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Double Amputee Olympic Athlete in Police Custody on Murder Charge

February 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
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JEFFREY BROWN: And next to a story that shocked many in South Africa and around the world. The first-ever double amputee athlete to compete in the Olympic Games is in police custody tonight.

We begin with a report from Rohit Kachroo of Independent Television News in Pretoria.

ROHIT KACHROO: The home of Oscar Pistorius, where he’s accused of murdering his girlfriend this morning, high walls, electric fences and police cars, his luxury villa now a murder scene.

In a country with countless national icons, Pistorius had earned a place amongst them, and with his new girlfriend, a model and law graduate, his image became even more marketable, their relationship captured by glossy magazines.

But at sunrise today, he was pictured once again, this time wearing a hoodie as he was led from his home under arrest, then glimpsed again briefly as he was taken to a police station to spend the night inside. A cell, a man who spent months promoting his image was concealing it tonight.

Police were not obliged to reveal many details, but chose to reveal past allegations of domestic violence.

DENISE BEUKES, South African National Police: I can confirm that there has previously been previous incidents at the home of Oscar Pistorius. I’m not going to elaborate on that. There have previously been incidents.

QUESTION: Of violence?

DENISE BEUKES: Of allegations of domestic nature.

ROHIT KACHROO: His lawyers rushed to his side and were asked about his state of mind.

KENNY OLDWAGE, Attorney for Oscar Pistorius: He’s very well, obviously emotional, but he’s fine, guys.

ROHIT KACHROO: Tonight, his father spoke to South African radio.

HENKE PISTORIUS, Father of Oscar Pistorius: I don’t know knowing. To speak to the police will be the best. And he’s sad at the moment. But if there’s any statement that comes from anyone, it must be from Oscar.

ROHIT KACHROO: Oscar Pistorius has spoken before about how highly he prizes his safety. Not only does he live here in one of the most secure communities in Pretoria, but he says that he sleeps with a pistol next to his bed and a machine gun close to the window.

Officers left the home with details still emerging and a nation shocked that such accusations could be made about their hero.