LONDON, England, February 18- Police are investigating if Oscar Pistorius may have shot dead his girlfriend in a fit of so-called ‘steroid rage’ – an explosion of aggression caused by performance-boosting steroids.
Officers who searched the 26-year-old’s home after Reeva Steenkamp was killed are reported to have found steroids, according to The Sun.
Miss Steenkamp, 29, was shot four times early on Thursday at Pistorius’s luxury home in a secure housing estate on the outskirts of Pretoria.
This morning the South African Police Service refused to respond to the claim, but sources close to investigation had previously told a local paper that the steroid rage was one line of enquiry and that the star’s blood was being tested for drugs.
Police have rubbished speculation that Pistorius – who is known to have kept a pistol by his bed and a machine gun at his bedroom window – may have mistaken his girlfriend of three months for an intruder.
As he awaits the result of his bail application Tuesday, it was reported this morning that Pistorius accidentally discharged a gun in a busy Johannesburg restaurant – and nearly hit his friend’s foot.
The Paralympic star visited a branch of the South African restaurant chain Tasha’s with group of friends which included girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in January this year.
According boxer Kevin Lerena, who was also part of the dining party, Pistorius was given the gun by someone else in the group.
He was examining the weapon when it suddenly went off, Mr Lerena claimed.
‘I got a huge fright, because the bullet hit the ground just centimetres from my foot’, Lerena told South Africa’s Beeld newspaper.
He went on: ‘I must emphasise that the gun belonged to one of Pistorius’ friends – I’m not going to mention his name.
‘Oscar just wanted to look at the gun, and it sort of snagged on his pants, releasing the safety catch.
‘A shot went off. I wouldn’t call him negligent, it was just an accident. He apologised to me for days afterwards,’ Mr Lerena reportedly said.
The restaurant’s manager Jason Loupis has said that he heard a ‘loud bang’ but that when he went to investigate, everyone on the table denied it was them.
The family of Steenkamp prepared to hold a funeral service for the 29-year-old model, as her bereaved mother pleaded for answers about the death of “the most beautiful person who ever lived”.
The former cover girl will be cremated on Tuesday in her home town of Port Elizabeth, in a private ceremony for family and friends.
In an interview, Steenkamp’s mother described her death as “horrendous.”
“She had so much of herself to give and now all that is gone. Just like that, she is gone… In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here.”
“All we have is this horrendous death to deal with… to get to grips with. All we want are answers… answers as to why this had to happen, why our beautiful daughter had to die like this.”
More than 100 people are expected to attend an hour-long memorial service Tuesday for Steenkamp, a law graduate who had been going out with the 26-year-old Pistorius since late last year.
Well-wishers have already begun placing bouquets of flowers outside the family home.
On Saturday a celebrity television show aired haunting footage of Steenkamp speaking about the need to leave a positive mark on life, words laden with unintended poignancy after her death.
“Not just your journey in life, but the way that you go out and make your exit is so important, you have either made an impact in a positive way or a negative way,” Reeva Steenkamp said.
Her uncle Mike Steenkamp said the family had been overwhelmed with offers of help and sympathy.
“We have received a lot of condolences from all over South Africa and around the world as well. We have received a lot of support.”