(PRETORIA, South Africa) — Oscar Pistorius is “numb with shock as well as grief” his uncle told reporters Saturday as the Olympian amputee spent his second night behind bars in a South African jail for the allegedly killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
“All of us saw at firsthand how close [Steenkamp] had become to Oscar during that time and how happy they were,” he said. “They had plans together and Oscar was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time,” said Pistorius’ uncle Arnold Pistorius. The 26-year-old athlete, known as the “blade runner” because of the carbon-fiber blades he runs on, was charged Friday with premeditated murder.
Pistorius’ family is “battling to come to terms with Oscar being charged with murder,” Arnold Pistorius said, and still believe “there is no substance to the allegation.”
Oscar Pistorius is suspected of shooting Steenkamp, 29, four times with a handgun early Thursday morning at his home in a gated community in Pretoria.
Prosecutors dismissed the reports that Pistorious mistook her for an intruder.
If convicted, Pistorius could face at least 25 years in jail.
According to South African newspaper Beeld, Steenkamp was killed nearly two hours after police were called to Pistorius’ home to respond to reports of an argument at the complex.
Police said they have responded to disputes at the sprinter’s residence before, but did not say whether or not Steenkamp was involved.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Greg Botelho, CNN Newswire
Ashley Fantz, AnneClaire Stapleton and Ed Payne, CNN Newswire