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Gun acquired day of shooting

BRADENTON — At noon on Jan. 17, Cynthia Monson walked into the Red Barn Gun shop on 14th Street West and picked up a Taurus .38-caliber revolver that she had purchased three days earlier.

One hour later, authorities found Monson’s ex-lover, Patricia Thomas, shot to death in her home in the 6400 block of Second Avenue Northeast, according to records released Monday by the state attorney’s office.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office detectives say Monson fired five shots into Thomas, 55 — reportedly her ex-girlfriend of about 12 years. Thomas was at Monson’s residence when the shooting took place.

Investigators found Thomas lying face down in a bedroom inside the home, reports show. She was wearing a yellow, long-sleeve shirt and Levi’s blue jeans. Nearby on a dresser they found a .38-caliber revolver.

Outside the bedroom, Monson sat quietly as investigators canvassed the crime scene, reports state.

A Red Barn Gun shop salesman told authorities that on Jan. 13, Monson bought the .38-caliber revolver from the business. He said she filled out paperwork, passed a background check and was told that there was a three-day waiting period to pick up the firearm.

On Jan. 17, she returned to the business and picked up the gun, the salesman wrote in a witness affidavit report.

“At no time either on the thirteenth of January or the seventeenth of January did she seem nervous or agitated,” the salesman wrote. “On the seventeenth she came in around noon.”

New reports also show Monson may have been familiar with firearms. According to a military record request, she is in the U.S. Army.

Detectives, according to the reports, say Monson and Thomas ended their relationship about three months before the fatal shooting.

According to Monson’s arrest report, the argument between Monson and Thomas started over visitation rights to Thomas’ children.

Detectives said Monson told them that she and Thomas were together until she broke it off with Thomas. They never spoke to each other again until December, according to the arrest report. Thomas was making statements about taking the children from her the week before Thomas was killed, Monson told investigators.

Monson armed herself with a revolver in order to protect herself and her family, she told detectives. Monson told authorities that Thomas kept a gun in her car, reports continue.

Monson and her family members have argued the shooting was in self-defense.

As of Monday, Monson was in the Manatee County jail without bond. She is scheduled for trial in late May.

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