CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Family of teen shot near Hunter High School: He’s a miracle

Jan 23, 2022, 9:40 AM | Updated: Jan 24, 2022, 12:29 pm
students shooting teen hunter high school memorial...
Hunter High School students gather at memorial site for their peers. Photo: Derek Peterson, KSL TV

MURRAY, Utah — The family of a teen shot near Hunter High School earlier this month offered an update on his condition Sunday morning, calling Ephraim Asiata “a miracle” who keeps “proving us wrong.” 

Watch the update from Ephraim Asiata’s family below. 

Asiata’s ungle, Muka Atiga, addressed reporters Sunday morning to say the teen continues to improve, moving out of intensive care. According to Atiga, Asiata recently began communicating with his family. The family thanked West Valley City for their support and encouragement. 

“There’s no community that’s more supportive for their people than the West Valley City community,” Atiga said. “We’ve seen that every single day. The evidence shows in the way that people show up.” 

Atiga said early on, doctors gave him a 1% chance, but Asiata continues to prove them wrong. 

Asiata seen lifting weights from hospital bed

On Monday morning, Asiata’s sibling posted a video of him from his room in the hospital. 

Ephraim Asiata lays in his hospital bed. But on this day, Asiata is seen doing chest presses with a weight. Asiata’s eldest sister, also a student at Hunter High School, posted the video to twitter on Monday.

The post received an immense amount of feedback and support from their community and beyond. She hashtagged the post #EphraimStrong and#AsiataStrong.

Previous details in the teen shooting near Hunter High 

Two other teens died in the same shooting. Friday, police revealed the gun used in the shooting was purchased in 2013, though they could not yet say how it came into the hands of the 14-year-old accused of carrying out the shooting. 

As of Friday, police said Asiata, the teen who survived the shooting near Hunter High, remained hospitalized but continued to improve. 

A 14-year-old remains in custody accused of wounding Asiata and killing the other two victims, Tivani Lopati, 14, and Paul Tahi, 15. Prosecutors have not yet filed charges. However, that could happen as soon as Monday, and prosecutors say they plan to try the suspect as an adult. 

Police say all of the teen victims and the suspect in the shooting attend Hunter High School. 

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Family of teen shot near Hunter High School: He’s a miracle