Reeva Steenkamp, 30, a former FHM magazine model who had been dating the Olympic competitor for two months, was shot three times in the chest, head and arm. She died on the scene.
Police in Pretoria, South Africa where Pistorius lived confirmed the 26-year-old athlete has been charged with murder. Police said they have been called to the home on several occasions since 2011 for domestic disturbances.
Steenkamp, who earned a law degree before becoming a professional model, revealed on Twitter that she was planning a surprise visit to Pistorius’s home on Valentine’s Day.
Pistorius gained fame in 2008 when he sued International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for the right to run in the Olympics with his specially made blades.
His legs were amputated below the knee as an infant because of a bone abnormality. He competed in the 2012 London Olympics and reached the semi-finals in the 400-meter dash.
Pistorius was briefly charged with assault in 2009 after a woman complained to police. The incident occurred at a party at his house. But charges were later dropped after the woman admitted she was drinking.
Like many South Africans, the runner was well armed. The crime rate is second highest in the world and home invasions are common, according to London’s Daily Mail.