Uncle: Pistorius 'numb with shock'

Oscar Pistorius' uncle says the Olympic athlete and the girlfriend he is accused of killing "had plans together."

PRETORIA, South Africa — Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is "numb with shock, as well as grief" after the shooting death of his model girlfriend at his home in South Africa, the runner's uncle said Saturday, as his family strongly denied charges that he planned to kill her.

Arnold Pistorius spoke with The Associated Press and two other South African journalists about his nephew's arrest in the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot four times on the morning of Valentine's Day. Arnold Pistorius spoke to reporters from his three-story home in the eastern suburbs of South Africa's capital, Pretoria.

Related: Weeping Pistorius faces premeditated murder charge

The statement, the first on camera and directly made in person by Pistorius' family, also came out strongly against prosecutors seeking to upgrade the charge against Pistorius to one of premeditated murder, which carries a sentence of life in prison.

"After consulting with legal representatives, we deeply regret the allegation of premeditated murder," Arnold Pistorius said. "We have no doubt there is no substance to the allegation and that the state's own case, including its own forensic evidence, strongly refutes any possibility of a premeditated murder."

More from MSN Sports

Usain Bolt in shock over Oscar Pistorius arrest

Many in disbelief over Pistorius news

Photo gallery: Oscar Pistorius' court hearing for murder charge

Pistorius statement disputes charge

Pistorius lived out dream at Olympics

Pistorius' life as seen on Twitter

The track star's arrest in the killing of 29-year-old Steenkamp shocked South Africa, where Pistorius was a national hero dubbed the "Blade Runner" for his high-tech prosthetics and revered for overcoming his disability to compete in the London Games. She was discovered in a pool of blood before dawn Thursday by police called to Pistorius' upscale home in a gated community in Pretoria. Authorities said she had been shot four times, and a 9 mm pistol was recovered at the home.

Pistorius remains held at a police station pending a bail hearing Tuesday.

Related: Show featuring Pistorius' dead girlfriend to go ahead

Arnold Pistorius did not discuss the circumstances of the shooting, but said that his nephew and Steenkamp had become very close since they started dating in November.

"They had plans together and Oscar was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time," the uncle said.

Jon Gambrell in Johannesburg contributed to this report.

——

MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Friend us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/news.msn

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msnnews