St. George police ID victim of shooting outside bar, ask witnesses to share information

Spencer Tafua was fatally shot in a fight outside the One And Only Bar in St. George on Dec. 29, 2018. Photos: GoFundMe; Google Earth

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Dec. 31, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — St. George Police have identified the victim of a bar shooting over the weekend.

The man shot and killed early Saturday morning was Spencer Tafua, 34. A GoFundMe page said to be set up to help pay funeral costs calls Tafua a kind-hearted man.

“Spencer Tafua was shot and killed in his hometown,” the page says. “This senseless crime has left four children without a father and so many others hurting.

“Spencer was a friend to and loved by everyone. He will be remembered for his huge smile and kind heart. Spencer was a hero to his four children and all of his friends. He was a protector to all of those whom he cared about.

“Funds are needed for funeral expenses and support for his four young children who now don’t have a father. Please be generous as Spencer always was. Please donate if able and respect the family during this terrible ordeal.”

As always, Gephardt Daily cannot ensure money donated through GoFundMe will reach those stated as beneficiaries.

Bronson Joseph Flynn. Photo: Washington County

Arrested for Tafua’s shooting murder is Bronson Joseph Flynn, 26, of Ivins. He is being held in Purgatory Correctional Facility on charges of:

  • Murder, a first-degree felony
  • Two counts of aggravated assault involving a weapon, a third-degree felony
  • Threat/use of a dangerous weapon in a fight, a class A misdemeanor
  • Driving under the influence, a class B misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • Possession of a weapon while under the influence, a class B misdemeanor

A probable cause statement filed in the case states that St. George Police Officers were dispatched to the One and Only bar, at 64 N. 800 East, on a report of an individual brandishing a gun.

“Prior to officers arriving, dispatch informed the officers that the shots had been fired at the incident location,” the statement says. “Upon the officers arriving to the scene, multiple individuals informed the officers that a subject had been shot and that the suspect had fled the scene. Some other witnesses, who were also on scene, directed one of the patrol officers to a white passenger vehicle (Crown Victoria) parked in the Southwest corner of the One and Only business complex.

“The vehicle was running and was occupied by one adult male. Officers took the suspect male into custody and observed an assault rifle in the front passenger seat area of the vehicle. The male taken into custody was identified as Bronson Joseph Flynn (DOB: 2-13-92).”

A witness on the scene was shown a photograph of Flynn, and identified him as the shooter.

“Spencer Maluafiti Tafua (DOB: 8-17-84). Spencer had been transported from the scene, by paramedics, and was pronounced deceased at 0200 hours (12-29-18) by attending doctors at the Dixie Regional Medical Center.,” the statement says.

“Bronson was taken to the St. George Police Department for questioning. During detectives’ initial contact with Bronson, in one of the interview rooms, they detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage on Bronson’s breath.

“When detectives were out of the interview room, Bronson removed an object from his person and stuck it underneath the leg of the interview room desk. Detectives went back into the interview room and collected the object. The object was a silver pipe with a copper liquid inside of it. The liquid is suspected to be THC oil.”

Flynn told detectives he hid the pipe because he didn’t want to get into more trouble, the statement says. Flynn declined to perform field sobriety tests, the statement said.

During witness interviews, SGPD detectives “learned that Bronson had pointed the assault rifle in question at two other individuals.”

St. George police released Tafua’s name Monday in a news conference shared on the the department’s Facebook page. An officer clarified that the confrontation began inside the bar, but the shooting happened outside the establishment.

In addition, the officer asked anyone with more information in the case to please come forward. To reach the St. George Police Department Investigation Unit’s tip line, call 435-627-4338. The incident number is 18P031977.

To view the news conference, click on the player below.


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