Uncle says Pistorius 'numb with shock and grief' following girlfriend's death

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 06:10 hrs

Oscar Pistorius' uncle has said the Paralympic and the Olympic star is numb with shock, as well as grief after his model girlfriend was shot dead at his home in South Africa.

The athlete's family strongly refutes that he planned to kill Reeva Steenkamp after he was charged with murder over the Valentine's Day shooting, the Daily Mirror reports.

The 26-year-old's uncle, Arnold Pistorius made a statement on behalf of the family after it was revealed prosecutors are seeking to upgrade the charge against him to one of premeditated murder, which carries a sentence of life in prison.

Arnold said after consulting with legal representatives, they deeply regret the allegation of premeditated murder, adding they have no doubt there is no substance to the allegation and that the state's own case, including its own forensic evidence, strongly refutes any possibility of a premeditated murder.

The track star's arrest for the killing of model Steenkamp shocked South Africa, where Pistorius was a national hero dubbed the Blade Runner for his high-tech prosthetics and revered for overcoming his disability to compete in the London Games, the paper said.

Steenkamp was discovered in a pool of blood around 4am local time on Thursday by police called to Pistorius' exclusive gated home in a gated community in Pretoria.

Authorities said she had been shot four times, and a 9mm pistol was recovered at the home.

Arnold did not discuss the circumstances of the shooting, but said that his nephew and Steenkamp had become very close since they started dating in November, the paper added. (ANI)

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