Feds say Washington City man illegally purchased rifle used in fatal bar shooting

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Washington City resident is being charged with purchasing the firearm Bronson Flynn used to fatally shoot a man at the One and Only Bar in St. George in December.

John Cody Thompson was arrested and charged by federal prosecutors with making a false statement during the purchase of the firearm.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Winward told St. George News that local law enforcement seized the firearm and state, local and federal authorities traced it back to Thompson.

The Springfield Armory .556 caliber rifle used was purchased about two weeks before the shooting occurred on Dec. 29, Winward said.

According to the indictment, Thompson falsely answered “yes” to the question of whether he was the actual buyer of the firearm from Sportsman’s Warehouse.

John Cody Thompson, booking photo, courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Flynn, 26, of Ivins, has been charged with murder, two counts of aggravated assault, using a dangerous weapon during a fight and carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence.

Police responded around 1 a.m. Dec. 29 after receiving reports of gunfire.

The shooting reportedly stemmed from a dispute between bar patrons that started in the front area of the bar, but occurred outside.

Spencer Maluafiti Tafua, 34, died at Dixie Regional Medical Center shortly after the shooting.

Flynn is awaiting trial, which was delayed until July.

Both Flynn and Thompson are due in federal court on Monday.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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