ST. GEORGE — A father of four and former high school football star was gunned down outside a St. George bar early Saturday.
Spencer Maluafiti Tafua, 34, was shot and killed just before 1:30 a.m. outside the One and Only Bar, 64 N. 800 East.
"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," according to a GoFundMe fundraiser set up to help pay for funeral expenses and support his children.
Bronson Joseph Flynn, 26, of Ivins, was arrested for investigation of murder, two counts of aggravated assault, DUI, exhibition of weapons, possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a weapon while under the influence.
Early Saturday, St. George police were called to the bar on a report of a man brandishing a weapon, according to a Washington County Jail report. While officers were en route, they were informed that shots had been fired, the report states.
Investigators found Flynn sitting in his car, which was running, but still parked in the bar parking lot, according to the report. An assault rifle was found in the front passenger seat, the report states.
Detectives took Flynn to the St. George Police Department for questioning. While he was left alone in an interview room, he took a pipe with THC oil out of his pocket and tried to hide it under a table leg.
"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 report states. "While interviewing witnesses of the incident, St. George Police detectives learned that Bronson had pointed the assault rifle in question at two other individuals."
According to court records, Flynn's criminal history includes only a few misdemeanor crimes, mainly for alcohol-related offenses.
Tafua went to Pine View High School in St. George. On his Facebook page, Pine View football coach Ray Hosner said he was heartbroken.
"His heart was so BIG he would do anything for anyone," Hosner wrote. "He touched all of our lives."
Others also left messages of condolence and tribute on the GoFundMe page and social media.Comment on this story
"You were an awesome person and colleague to be around, and one of the nicest guys I know. My thoughts an prayers are with your family. R.I.P good buddy," one message stated.
"It breaks my heart to see an old high school friend leave this life early because of the senseless act of another person. My heart and prayers go out to Spencer’s family. Rest In Peace Spencer," wrote another.
"Spencer was a truly amazing soul, anyone who has ever met him knows how blessed it was to know him. RIP," another person wrote.
Correction: A previous version incorrectly stated Spencer Maluafiti Tafua was 44. He was 34.