Scottsdale murder-suicide victim was trying to escape the violence

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Sarah Drewer By Tami Hoey Sarah Drewer By Tami Hoey
Sarah Drewer By Jennifer Thomas Sarah Drewer By Jennifer Thomas
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The day after a Scottsdale man killed his wife and turned the gun on himself, the victim’s friends said she was fighting hard to get away from the violence.

Police said 33-year-old Sarah Drewer was shot and killed by her husband, 46-year-old Douglas Drewer, Tuesday morning on the sidewalk across the street from the couple’s home at 68th Street and Chaparral Road. 

On Wednesday night, Sarah's friends lit candles at the crime scene and recalled a woman they call inspirational.

"She had a passion for life, was excited about what's happening and seemed to be taking her life over," said Marty Logan, who came to the murder-suicide scene to lay flowers for his friend.

Just one day after Sarah's death, the shock reverberates around the gym where she had been taking back control of her life.

"The gym was Sarah's sanctuary," said Jill Bauman, Sarah’s close friend and owner of Bauman’s Xtreme Training gym. "This is where she came and felt peace and she was laser-focused and she had friends and safety."

Safety -- something Sarah had been sorely missing in her abusive relationship.

"She suffered silently but she never shared a lot of that with us," Bauman said.

In a 2009 protection order against Douglas Drewer, Sarah stated she feared for her and her children.  She said Douglas had hit her, was sometimes violent and was in possession of weapons.

Finally, a year ago, Sarah went into Bauman's gym with a mission to take back control of her life. She dumped 80 pounds of blood, sweat and tears and found a big piece of herself – and happiness – underneath.

"Sarah was definitely on a mission to change her life," Bauman said. "Everything she did was leading toward this journey of being free of domestic violence."

But there was one person not happy with Sarah's transformation -- her husband.

"I think as Sarah became more empowered and she began to rise up and release her weight and her joy started to come back and she was surrounded by true friends to help on this journey, it became more of a struggle behind the scenes at home," Bauman said.

Bauman said Sarah had finally decided to leave her husband for good. Instead, her story ends just short of the final goal of becoming free from the violence.

But the message lives on.

"I know her friends and I will carry forward the message," Bauman said.

In addition to the order of protection in 2009, police served another protection order on Douglas Drewer this past Friday. Scottsdale police said they removed several weapons while serving that order and they're now looking into how Douglas got the gun he used Tuesday morning.

Sarah's friends are holding a celebration of her life on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, at Bauman's Xtreme Training in Scottsdale (Scottsdale Road and Lincoln Drive) from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. They're also working to set up a bank account for donations, which will go to the education of the couple’s 5-year-old son and Sarah’s daughter.

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