Reeva Steenkamp Cause of Death: How Did the Model Die?

Reeva Steenkamp Cause of Death

Getty Reeva Steenkamp was shot by her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius, in 2013.

Reeva Steenkamp was a South African model and paralegal with hopes of one day becoming an attorney. On February 14, 2013, Steenkamp was shot and killed by her boyfriend, Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius. The story will be investigated on tonight’s episode of Dateline NBC

Steenkamp was standing near the toilet, facing the closed door of the room when she was shot in the right hip, according to a report by The Guardian. After being shot, Steenkamp fell back onto a magazine holder, where she was shot two more times; once in the right arm and the second in the head.

Pistorius fired a total of four shots into his bathroom door. Investigators believe the second shot missed Steenkamp and instead ricocheted off a wall and broke into fragments. They argued that that shot led to bruising on Steenkamp’s back.

Reeva Steenkamp Died After Being Shot by Her Boyfriend

At the trial for Steenkamp’s killing, professor Gert Saayman, who had been responsible for the post-mortem on Steenkamp according to The Guardian, said he believed Pistorius had used a type of expanding bullet designed to cause maximum tissue damage.

Saayman said in court that he believed that the wound to her head would have been almost instantly fatal.

“The deceased probably didn’t breathe more than a few times after sustaining this wound,” he said. “The wound to the head was incapacitating and probably almost instantly fatal.”

After beating down the bathroom door following the shooting, Pistorius carried Steenkamp’s body to another location within his home where he attempted to perform CPR.

Pistorius Said He Believed There Was an Intruder in the Bathroom

Pistorius never denied that he was the one who shot into the bathroom on that fatal night, but during the trial, he said that he believed there was an intruder in the bathroom and he was protecting himself.

Pistorius said that he had not put his prosthetics on before getting out of bed to investigate the intruder he believed was in the bathroom. Captain Christian Mangena agreed during the trial that, at the time of the shooting, it was possible Pistorius did not have his prosthetics on.

Prosecutors argued, however, that Pistorius had killed his girlfriend in a jealous fury after the couple had an argument in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013. The runner was being charged with premeditated murder, though the charge was lowered eventually.

Since the trial, Pistorius’ sentence has changed multiple times. Originally in 2014, he was found guilty of culpable homicide, which is the equivalent to manslaughter, and he served 10 months before being released on house arrest.

An appeals court appealed that decision and changed the erdict to murder in December 2015. Then, Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison in 2016. In November 2017, a court more than doubled the sentence, ordering him to serve an additional 13 years in prison. The sentence had been increased from the original six years to 15 years minus time served.

Fifteen years is the usual minimum sentence in South Africa for murder, according to NPR.

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