PRETORIA, South Africa (February 19, 2013)—A South African prosecutor Tuesday charged Olympian Oscar Pistorius, 26, with the premeditated murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend.
The prosecutor says Pistorius shot model Reeva Steenkamp, 29, four times through the bathroom door of his home in a guarded and gated complex in the South African capital, Pretoria.
The prosecutor told the court the door had been broken open.
The family of the Paralympian and Olympic athlete says police evidence will show there should be no murder charge in the Valentine's Day shooting.
Pistorius, in a gray suit, blue shirt and tie appeared grim and solemn in court.
The double amputee said in an affidavit read by his lawyer at his bail hearing Tuesday that he felt vulnerable because he did not have on his prosthetic legs when he pumped bullets into the locked bathroom door.
Then he realized that model Reeva Steenkamp was not in his bed. He says "It filled me with horror and fear ..."
He put on his legs, tried to kick down the door, then bashed it in with a cricket bat to find Steenkamp shot inside.
Pistorius says he ran downstairs with her, but said, "She died in my arms."
The head of the Paralympics, meanwhile, says he is in a state of "disbelief" about the murder charge, but is trying to reassure his organization that is has a strong future without its star athlete.
International Paralympic Committee President Philip Craven expressed his "shock and disbelief" at the runner's sudden downfall.
Craven told The Associated Press he is writing to IPC members urging them to "respect and observe" the legal processes while refocusing on "the way forward."
Craven insists, "We've got so many stars coming through that this will not be an issue."