Victim identified, additional details released on St. George bar shooting

Composite image. Background photo shows One and Only bar in St. George, Utah, where a shooting took place Dec. 28, 2017, that led to the death of Spencer Tafua (inset) | Background photo by Ron Chaffin. Inset photo from Spencer Tafua GoFundMe page, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The man who died following a shooting at the One and Only Bar in St. George early Saturday morning has been identified, and St. George News has obtained further details as to the events that transpired that morning.

According to court documents, Spencer Maluafiti Tafua, 34, died from his injuries at Dixie Regional Medical Center after being shot by Bronson Flynn, 26, of St. George.

Read more: Man dead after fatal shooting at St. George bar

The shooting, which took place around 1 a.m. Saturday, was reportedly a result of a dispute between bar patrons that started in an area in front of the bar, according to a post on the St. George Police Department’s Facebook page.

Booking photo of Bronson Flynn, courtesy of St. George Police Department via Facebook, St. George News

After responding to the scene, St. George police officers were informed by multiple individuals that a man later identified as Flynn had fled the scene. Some other witnesses at the scene directed one of the officers to a white Crown Victoria vehicle parked in the southwest corner of the parking lot of the bar.

“Officers took the suspect male into custody and observed an assault rifle in the front passenger seat area of the vehicle,” the affidavit states.

Flynn was taken to the St. George Police Department for questioning. During detectives’ initial contact with Flynn in one of the interview rooms, they were able to smell alcohol on his breath.

The affidavit continues to state that when detectives were out of the interview room, they observed Flynn remove an object from his person and stick it under the leg of the interview room desk. The object was later identified as a silver pipe with liquid suspected to be THC oil.

“Bronson told detectives he didn’t want to get in any more trouble, as an explanation to why he hid the pipe underneath the desk,” the affidavit says.

Officers also tried to get Flynn to consent to field sobriety tests due to him being at a bar, the odor of alcohol on his breath and being found in control of a motor vehicle when he was taken into custody. He declined the officers’ request.

The events that transpired between Flynn and Tafua are still under investigation; however, the affidavit states that while interviewing witnesses, detectives learned that Flynn had pointed the assault rifle at two other individuals.

Flynn was arrested on the following charges: homicide, two counts of aggravated assault involving a weapon, DUI, brandishing a firearm during a fight, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a weapon by an intoxicated person.

A photo of Spencer Tafua posted on a GoFundMe page on Dec. 29, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the GoFundMe page, St. George News

Following the incident, multiple family members and friends of Tafua took to social media to share memories and condolences. A GoFundMe page was also set up to help with funeral expenses and Tafua’s children.

Raymond Hosner, a family friend of Tafua and head football coach at Pine View High School, expressed his sorrow on Facebook Saturday.

“My HEART is broken Spencer Maluafiti Tafua passed today leaving behind his amazing children and family. I am so glad that Spencer was able to live with us and influence my kids in so many amazing ways,” Hosner wrote. “My wife and Spencer grew close and she would always say how happy Spencer’s smile and hugs made her. His heart was so BIG he would do anything for anyone.”

St. George Police Captain Mike Giles told St. George News there will be an internal briefing from investigations on Monday about the incident.

Email: mheckenliable@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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26 Comments

  • xbcmc059 December 30, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    An FST in the middle of Interrogating an guy in custody for Murder and two counts of ADW???? And, who missed the dope pipe during the arrest, Moe, Larry or Curly?

  • bikeandfish December 30, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Sincere condolences to the family.

  • mesaman December 30, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    How very sad to hear of Mr Tafua’s tragic death. His family, his friends, and all those who became better off by knowing him are forced to bear the sadness and grief and the despair of not having him near. The perpetrator should pay by being ripped away from his family, friends, and others. But that price is not nearly as dear as for those who lost someone they loved or cared for. May God bless you with courage and support, and may you find pleasure in the memories that were formed when he was with you.

  • Carpe Diem December 30, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Justice, please.

  • friedmoderate December 30, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    This is insane I never would have guessed Spencer is the victim. I played basketball with him at VASA and can tell you he was always a peacekeeper. I guarantee he was sticking up for other people and trying to diffuse a bad situation or something. He did not deserve this.

    Bronson was a drug dealer and a bully in high school, but this?? I’m not actually surprised but I’m angry. And anything less than a life sentence will be a tragedy. I hope you die in a cell Bronson.

    • Carpe Diem December 31, 2018 at 6:41 am

      Well, Bronson fits the description of a thug quite well. Dead or in prison. His FB reads like a bread crumb trail leading up to this fate.

  • Randys Sister December 31, 2018 at 7:27 am

    People act differently when inebriated. I saw a whole different side to the victim multiple times at the One and Only. I saw him try to start many fights and arguments with random people on different occasions. The way he acted at the bar, I really wouldn’t be surprised if the shooter felt threatened. The fact that the shooting happened away from the bar makes me feel like the victim was following after the shooter and antagonizing him, JUST like I’d seem the victim do to other people on different occasions. And the other 2 people with the victim? They weren’t being “protected” by the victim like some claim, it was probably his 2 friends that he hung out with while he bullied people at the bar. The shooter probably felt threatened, and he also being inebriated, made a stupid decision. They both were at fault, and this tragedy is a damn shame. But I just hope that people remember there are 2 sides to every story.

    • Comment December 31, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      It’s too bad the kids will have to grow up without a daddy because of his and the other guy’s dumbass choices. I’ll try not to speculate too much since I didn’t know either of them, but I have no doubt that this was a two-way thing. Neither one had the smarts or maturity to de-escalate the situation. It’ll be interesting to find out if this was a “stand your ground” type of situation, but I kind of doubt it, because the perp seems to have a history of being a scumbag. And having an AR15 in your vehicle while you’re hanging out at a bar at 1am also does not look good–that may get him 2nd degree murder rather than manslaughter.

      • Comment December 31, 2018 at 12:21 pm

        Oh, and I see in the other article that the perp was “gun restricted”, so likely already a felon. This clown may be going away for a very long time.

    • Carpe Diem December 31, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Oh, Bronson posted on FB that he wanted to “knock drunk people off”, this in 2014. AND he spent 3 months in jail for assault earlier than that, 2012, perhaps earning him a felony. And, according to him also, went to the ER for overdosing on “mushrooms and dust”.

      And wth, Bronson was a gun restricted person packing a rifle at a bar? Sounds like just another thug awaiting his reward.

    • ttrjkht555 December 31, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      Thanks for sharing that! People drinking changes people. BOTH Families loose someone!

    • mesaman December 31, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      Sorry, Randys sister, your allegations, insinuations, hypotheses, shouldas, couldas, and utter speculations do nothing to make the family feel more at peace but simply bear your collection of ideas and possibilities. You have the right to express them, I have the right to be critical of your collection of postulates.

      • 42214 December 31, 2018 at 11:40 pm

        Typical Mesaman blah blah blah rhetoric. You remind me of Howard Cossel using big words to try to impress people,

        • mesaman January 1, 2019 at 9:09 pm

          You remind me of a Pismo Beach clam with nothing more accommodating than an occasional water squirt into the air. You think I would waste my time trying to impress a loser like you? Maybe you should find work and become something.

  • jpff December 31, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Randy’s sister makes some points. She is telling things as she has seen them, and people are totally different once they become inebriated.
    I knew Spencer years ago, and he was a very polite, peaceful person, but I never knew him when he was drinking. Of course, drunk or not, I am definitely not one of those guys who would take on a large polynesian for a fight. Unfortunately, it is possible that flynn thought he could take him on and lost.
    Either way, this is a big tragedy for both sides’ families. I feel terrible for them.

    • Carpe Diem December 31, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      On the SGPD FB page someone posted that Spencer was a bouncer there. I personally don’t know if true, but if so I dont think you drink on the job, and second it may lead to you having “moments” often with drunk stupid people.

    • ttrjkht555 December 31, 2018 at 5:50 pm

      Very true both family losses! He had to been scared to run get his gun. Bronson isn’t big. What a waste very sad!

  • tazzman December 31, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Very sad. Thoughts to the Tafua family.

  • Natalie December 31, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    ok so people who are making comments of judgment need to stop NONE
    of you know the truth and for you all to be makimg assumptions and judgements is pathetic. PRAYERS AND LOVE TO THE SWEET CHILDREN HE LEFT BEHIND AND HIS FAMILY. JUSTICE PLEASE!! FOR FLYNN

    • Comment December 31, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      Right off hand they both look like thugs. That’s why I’m not gonna rush to judgement.

    • ttrjkht555 December 31, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      Thank you for saying this. Both are in the wrong that Both made poor judgement while drinking! If he went to get his gun he had to have felt threatened otherwise Bronson would have just fought him . Both family have lost! People carry guns to protect them but now who wins! Very sad

  • itsame January 1, 2019 at 2:59 am

    Alcohol is so terrible. I am so sorry for the families that have to deal with this mess. I pray for their peace and comfort.

    • Carpe Diem January 1, 2019 at 12:45 pm

      Felon thugs with anger issues and with illegally possessed firearms on drugs and finally polished off with alcohol “is so terrible”…

      *fixed

  • KR567 January 1, 2019 at 6:25 am

    Alcohol….!

    • Carpe Diem January 1, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      NAAAHH – “Felon thug going around with an illegally possessed AR-15 and getting into fights” is the problem.

      He was illegal before he smoked his oil and drank any booze. Like so many that commit suicide by cop, they are often a very lost soul with a ticking clock. Best not be around them when it goes off.

  • JOSH DALTON January 3, 2019 at 7:33 am

    $10,000 goes to the first person who can tell me what my Facebook says! GO FALCONS!

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