Police said Anthony L. Brown, 51, refused to come out of his apartment at 208 N. Homewood Ave. Police arrived shortly after 11 p.m., police spokeswoman Diane Richard said.
Pittsburgh police major crimes unit Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said Mr. Brown told police through the door he shot to death his girlfriend, Ka'Sandra Wade, 33. She was the mother of his 10-year-old son, Zaire, according to Allegheny county court records.
A SWAT team and negotiators surrounded the building for several hours before a robot with a camera allowed police to see Mr. Brown had shot himself.
The Allegheny County medical examiner's office said Mr. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:47 a.m.
According to court records, Mr. Brown petitioned the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas Family Division in 2005 for custody of their son, claiming Ms. Wade was not allowing him to see the boy, then 2 years old.
"It is in the child's best interest to have a relationship with his father," Mr. Brown wrote.
The pair was ordered to attend an education seminar, which neither attended, prompting cancellation of a later mediation session and dismissal of the case.
Ms. Wade moved this fall to the 500 block of Lowell Street, where her body was found Tuesday, to end the relationship, her boss said. Mr. Brown threatened to kill her with a machete and a gun, said Maryellen Deckard of Action United Pittsburgh, a nonprofit advocate for low-income residents.
"She was trying to get out of that abusive relationship," Ms. Deckard said. "She was afraid. She just didn't get away far enough."
Ms. Wade was an aspiring accountant. She graduated from Kaplan Career Institute this fall and was pursuing a bachelor's degree at another institution.
She started at Action United about six months ago, first as an intern before being hired part-time as an administrative assistant, and was set to start full-time in that role today, her boss said.
"She was growing in her job so well that we decided to hire her from the internship," Ms. Deckard said.