Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius goes on trial next month
He is charged with premeditated murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp
Pistorius says he mistook her for a home invader
"No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident," he says
A year to the day after he killed his girlfriend, South African “blade runner” Oscar Pistorius broke his silence Friday, describing her death as a “devastating accident.”
The double amputee Olympic star is charged with premeditated murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law school graduate.
He has never denied killing the woman he calls the love of his life on Valentine’s Day last year.
But he maintains that he mistook her for a home invader when he shot her in the bathroom of his upscale home in Pretoria.
Since being freed on bail, he has remained largely out of the spotlight. He released a statement Friday, the anniversary of her death, saying he will carry the “complete trauma” of the day forever.
“No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved – and continues to love Reeva,” he said on his website.
“The pain and sadness – especially for Reeva’s parents, family and friends consumes me with sorrow.”
Pistorius, an Olympic sprinter, also tweeted about her death for the first time since the shooting.
“A few words from my heart,” the tweet said, linking to the statement on his website.
His statement got mixed reviews on social media.
“Apparently Oscar Pistorius is ‘consumed by sorrow’. All these perpetrators claiming victim status. Again, I want to scream,” Marianna Tortell tweeted.
Others were more forgiving.
“God bless you, Oscar,” @Sissi_olcp tweeted. “Such kind and heartfelt words. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and Reeva’s loved ones.”
His trial is set to begin next month.
Steenkamp’s family members, including her mother, said this week that they will attend the trial. It will be the first time they’ll face their daughter’s boyfriend in court.
“All we are looking for is closure and to know that our daughter did not suffer on that tragic Valentine’s Day,” the family said in a prepared statement.
Prosecutors allege that Pistorius intentionally killed her after a loud argument, but he has consistently said he mistook her for an intruder.
Pistorius made history when he became the first Paralympian to compete in the able-bodied Olympics in London in 2012. He ran on special carbon fiber blades affixed to his legs.
He was born without the fibulae in his legs, and they were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old.
CNN’s Brent Swails contributed to this report.