(PRETORIA, South Africa) — Oscar Pistorius’ family is “shaken by the graphic images” released by a British media news outlet that show the bloody crime scene where the Olympian fatally shot his model girlfriend earlier this year.
“We were shaken by the graphic images, leaked into the public domain this week, of the accident scene at Oscar’s house,” the family said in a statement Sunday after Sky News released images Friday of the blood-stained bathroom where Pistorius fatally shot Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day at his home in Pretoria, South Africa.
Pistorius, 26, says he shot girlfriend Steenkamp, 29, by accident, mistaking her for an intruder.
Pistorius, dubbed “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic legs, is accused of premeditated murder. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday in a pretrial hearing.
“It has always been our plea that the legal process be allowed its run its course with integrity,” the Pistorius family said. “The leaking of evidential material into the public domain, before the court case, does not advance this process.”
One of the images released by Sky News shows a large pool of blood near the toilet in the bathroom along with two police markers that appear to indicate bullet holes below the door handle. Some analysts say the low position of the bullet holes supports the runner’s claim that he was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he shot Steenkamp.
Her family has not commented publicly on the photos.
Prosecutors alleged that Pistorius took a moment to put on his prosthetic legs, indicating that he thought out and planned to kill Steenkamp when he shot her three times through the bathroom door.
Others say these photos are inconclusive.
“It’s very difficult to assess crime scenes from photos when you have an incomplete set,” ABC News consultant and former FBI agent Brad Garrett said.
Police say they don’t know “the origin of the photos,” although sources told ABC News that a police officer took them on a cell phone.
Sky News said it “obtained” the collection of photographs of Pistorius’ home, but did not divulge the source.
One picture shows bloody shoe footprints, possible evidence that investigators contaminated the crime scene. Former lead investigator Hilton Botha previously admitted police had walked through the crime scene without wearing protective foot covers.
“I would be surprised if it were enough to cause a judge to throw out the case,” Garrett said.
Meanwhile, the Paralympian’s uncle, Arnold Pistorius, told CNN in an interview that his nephew has grown a beard, surrounded himself with photos of Steenkamp and barely goes outside anymore.
“What can you say if the person you love the most dies,” Pistorius said, “and you were the instrument? How would you feel?”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Camille Verdier, Steve Visser and Margot Haddad, CNN
Ben Westcott, CNN
KJ Kwon and Ben Westcott, CNN