South African model Reeva Steenkamp was fatally shot in the home of her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius, on Thursday. The international track star who made history as the first double-amputee runner to compete in Olympics using prosthetic "blades," faces murder charges in the shooting death. The tragic passing of the 30-year-old model and law school graduate came in the early hours of Valentine's Day, a holiday she had tweeted about just a day earlier.
Only Steenkamp and Pistorius were in his home in Pretoria at the time of the shooting, according to police. A 9 mm pistol was recovered at the scene.
Described as "the sweetest, kindest, just angelic soul" by publicist Sarit Tomlinson, Steenkamp also had recently tweeted and re-tweeted messages of empowerment to women facing physical violence.
The Afrikaans-language newspaper Beeld initially reported that Steenkamp may been mistaken for an intruder before being shot, according to the L.A. Times. Police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes later said that those reports were not based on information released by law enforcement.
"As the South African Police Service, we do not have a report based on those allegations. We only heard over the radio that the woman was shot after she was mistaken for an intruder," said Beukes, via The Mail & Guardian in South Africa, adding "The surprise was that the information was given to the media. The police did not provide the information."