On Thursday Steenkamp was scheduled to give a motivational speech to students in Johannesburg. “It was about empowerment and inspiration and what inspires you and how to follow your dreams,” Steenkamp’s publicist, Sarit Tomlinson, told the Associated Press.
The case has shocked South Africa, where Pistorius is a national hero, and rippled around the globe. Pistorius, 26, became the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics at last summer’s London Games. Steenkamp was also a local celebrity. She was the South African face of Avon cosmetics and an outspoken advocate against the abuse of women. FHM magazine named her one of the 100 sexiest women in the world. The media dubbed the couple “South Africa’s answer to Posh and Becks.”
But hours earlier, around 3 a.m., police were called to Pistorius’s house. Police have denied earlier reports that Pistorius mistook his girlfriend for a burglar. One theory is that a domestic dispute might have sparked the shooting.
“I’m not going to elaborate on it, but there have been incidents” at Pistorius’s home, a police spokeswoman told the Associated Press, and added that there is “no other suspect involved.”