EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Christmas came and went normally for David Driscoll and his two sons, his roommate said, just days before police say the Eagle Mountain man shot and killed his former fiancee and then took his own life in a standoff with officers.
"He was in really good spirits," said Bradley Braverman, who was sharing a home with Driscoll. "He had a good Christmas with his kids, and he seemed to be doing pretty good."
But he said serious criminal charges Driscoll was facing weighed heavily on his friend.
Braverman said his roommate "seemed great" Sunday night. He left for work Monday morning not sensing anything wrong. By the evening, he was stunned to learn from a relative that Driscoll had committed suicide a short time after shooting and killing 27-year-old Brittany Engstrom.
"I had gotten a text, 'Have you heard from Dave?' And then I got another text, 'Oh, OK, he's talking with his brother now,'" Braverman said. "And then it was probably an hour later I got a text that Dave shot Brittany."
Driscoll, 37, is suspected of shooting his former fiance at her Orem apartment before getting into a standoff with police in the parking lot of the Ranches Golf Club in Eagle Mountain. After talking with a police negotiator from inside his car for about two hours and threatening suicide, he shot and killed himself.
Braverman, who called Driscoll a good friend who took him in when he moved from Georgia three years ago, is still trying to wrap his head around what happened Monday.
"I keep thinking, 'Is there something I could have done? Is there something I missed?'" he said.
Engstrom was scheduled to testify in court against Driscoll the next day on Tuesday, and investigators suspect that may have led to the tragedy. Driscoll was charged with four counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child, first-degree felonies that carry mandatory prison sentences. Prosecutors say Engstrom was not a witness to the allegations but was aware of the circumstances.
Braverman remembers talking to Driscoll about the case.
"David had mentioned something about (others wanting) him to take a plea deal," Braverman said. "But I couldn't advise him on that because I didn't know what was going on."
The charges weighed heavily on Driscoll, his friend said.
"It seemed to 'die down' when it first started, and then he (later) said, 'They're officially charging me,' which he was struggling with. I know he was really struggling with that," Braverman said.
Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said Wednesday it's possible Driscoll snapped under the prospect of the looming hearing, although police hadn't reached any conclusions.
"A hearing would bring up all the testimonies (of the alleged victims)," Cannon said. "(Driscoll) may have cracked under the pressure of hearing that kind of stuff."
Braverman said he did all he could to help police resolve the standoff.
"I tried talking to one of the sheriff's deputies to see if I could talk (Driscoll) out of it, and at that point they were waiting for their negotiators," he said. "I just told them, 'I'm going home, this is my number. If you need me, call me."
Braverman said he believes his friend, who previously served in the Army and then the Utah National Guard, met Engstrom at a gym, where she was a personal trainer. He never dreamed that Driscoll would commit such violence toward the woman he once loved.
"I feel bad for Brittany and her family, and I'm so sorry that his happened," he said. "It's just a tragedy all around. It really is."