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Lehi man in murder-suicide left notes saying he would harm estranged wife

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LEHI — Investigators say a man who shot and killed his estranged wife before turning the gun on himself had apparently planned the event.

Police say Stephen Brad Davis, 25, fatally shot his estranged wife, 23-year-old Sarah Davis, Tuesday night before shooting himself. He died Wednesday at Intermountain Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said.

Police say Davis left notes in the home where he was staying and made references to harming his wife.

"Writings that we recovered talked about committing some type of act," said Lehi Police Lt. Darren Paul. "We have evidence to suggest he intended to cause harm."

The couple had two children, a 5-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son. Sarah Davis was picking up the children when she was shot, according to police. The children were inside the home at the time of the shooting.

Sarah Davis was found dead in the driver's seat of a vehicle parked in front of a house at 1891 S. 575 West, with a gunshot wound to her head. Brad Davis was found in the passenger seat. A 9 mm handgun that Davis had purchased on March 8 was found between the seat and the center console, said Paul.

Brad and Sarah Davis had been separated since January, when Sarah reportedly said she intended to file for divorce, Paul said. They previously lived in Orem together. Brad Davis was living in Lehi with his siblings, where the shooting occurred.

Prior to their separation, Paul said he had not heard of any reports of domestic violence between the couple.

When Sarah Davis arrived at the Lehi house to pick up the children Tuesday, Brad Davis came out instead and got into the passenger seat of her vehicle. Witnesses reported hearing the two argue before hearing gunshots.

Neighbors said they heard two shots in quick succession. They said they did not know the couple well, but that there were often children playing in the backyard of the house where the shooting took place.

A neighbor, Therese Spence, said she talked to Brad Davis earlier in the evening, but she didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. She said he always seemed "angry."

A check of Utah state court records shows Davis had only minor traffic violations, most of which were dismissed.

Contributing: Paul Koepp

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam