Reeva Steenkamp was photographed firing a gun that looked similar to the one police believe was later used to kill her, a strange twist in the case of a fallen Olympic hero.
The 29-year-old model was shot and killed by her boyfriend, South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Though Pistorius told police that he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day, police later said the shooting was premeditated and charged him with murder.
The picture of Steenkamp firing the gun emerged early this week on social media, showing her holding a handgun with both hands as she fires at what appears to be a shooting range, News.com.au reported. The gun looks similar to the pistol police said was used to kill her, though it is not believed to be the same weapon.
It was reported that Steenkamp was an avid shooter even before she met Pistorius. The model and aspiring actress reportedly went to the shooting range months before she started dating the man nicknamed “Blade Runner.”
“Shooting games this morning! I feel less stressed now :)” Steenkamp wrote along with the photograph of her firing the gun.
News.com.au noted that South African culture surrounding guns is much more open than in other nations, and gun ownership is much more common.
Oscar Pistorius also kept a pistol by his bedside and owned many other guns.One of those, a .500 Magnum pistol, is called “the most powerful production revolver in the world” by its manufacturer. Pistorious was also known to practice at gun ranges in South Africa and in Europe while training for the 2012 London Olympics.
Still, it came as a surprise to the deceased’s family to see Steenkamp firing the gun.
“I’m not aware Reeva knew how to use a handgun – her dad never taught her to use one,” a family member told The Sun.
The photograph of Steenkamp firing the gun now serves as a sad reminder to those who knew her of a life cut short. Reeva’s mother, June Steenkamp, was interviewed by the Times of Johannesburg and expressed shock at the killing, saying, “Why? Why my little girl? Why did this happen? Why did he do this? What for?”