Thomas Bonfanti was ordered held without bail Feb. 5, 2020, when he made his first court appearance at Calais District Court for three counts of murder and one count of elevated aggravated assault. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

A Washington County man walked into an American Legion hall and laid cash on the bar for his cremation after he allegedly killed three people and injured a fourth more than nine months ago.

“I just killed a bunch of people,” Thomas Bonfanti told a man at the Legion hall in Machias as police were closing in the morning of Feb. 3.

That’s according to a newly unsealed police affidavit detailing the early February shooting spree that spanned two towns Down East. Superior Court Justice Bruce Mallonee unsealed the affidavit Friday at the request of the Bangor Daily News.

Bonfanti, 64, of Northfield, was arrested the morning of Feb. 3 at American Legion Post 9 in Machias, of which he was a member, less than an hour after the shootings in Machias and Jonesboro had been reported to police.

When he was taken into custody, Bonfanti told police four people had been shot, and that he didn’t know who one of the victims was, Maine State Police Detective Jason Fowler wrote in the affidavit.

District Court Judge David Mitchell had impounded the document on Feb. 5, when Bonfanti made his first court appearance on the charges, at the request of Bonfanti’s attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor.

The American Legion on Court Street in Machias where Thomas Bonfanti was taken into custody on Feb. 3. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

Killed in the shootings were Jennifer Bryant Flynn, 49, of Machias; Samuel Powers, 33, of Jonesboro; and Shawn Currey, 57, of Machias. Regina Hall Long, 49, of Machias, also was shot and later was taken in critical condition to Maine Medical Center in Portland, but survived her injuries and has since been released.

Long was shot in her face and shoulder at the Kennebec Road home she shared with Currey, according to court documents and police statements. It appeared Bonfanti didn’t know Currey, according to Fowler’s affidavit.

After telling police how many people had been shot, Bonfanti invoked his Miranda rights to not speak to police, according to the affidavit. The court document describes no motive or sequence of events that led to the shootings.

Bonfanti was indicted March 10 by a Washington County Grand Jury on three charges of murder, one charge of aggravated attempted murder, and one charge of elevated aggravated assault, according to court documents. Bonfanti later pleaded not guilty to those charges when he was arraigned in early summer, according to Silverstein.

Before being taken into custody, Bonfanti told a man at the Legion hall that he knew police were looking for him, according to the affidavit. Others at the Legion hall said Bonfanti “put a bunch of money on the bar for his cremation,” Fowler wrote in the document.

In Bonfanti’s vehicle, which was parked outside the Legion hall, police found a Keltec PMR 30, .22 magnum caliber handgun on the passenger seat, according to court documents. Shell casings matching that caliber were found where Flynn was shot at her home on Kennebec Road in Machias and where Powers was shot at his home on Roque Bluffs Road in Jonesboro, police wrote in the affidavit.

Bonfanti, who served in the Army from 1975 to 1976, remains in custody at Washington County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

Bill Trotter

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....