Families of Hunter High shooting victims unhappy with plea deal
Dec 8, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:17 am
SALT LAKE CITY — The families and friends of three victims of a shooting outside Hunter High School in January protested Thursday outside of the office of Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.
They say their sons didn’t receive justice after a plea bargain was reached with the 15-year-old suspect.
Those in attendance at the rally honked their horns, chanted, carried signs and photos of Paul Tahi, Tivani Lopati and Ephraim Asiata. Tahi and Lopati passed away from the shooting. Asiata was seriously injured.
Those in attendance were wearing black T-shirts that read “Justice 4 All.”
Just outside the exit of the District Attorney’s Office, a banner read, “You failed us.”
Hunter High families upset with the system
Paul’s mother tells KSL NewsRadio she’s not mad at the 15-year-old who took her boy’s life. However, she is upset at the system that she says let the victims down.
“Who are we going to hold accountable if we send our children to school and this is what happens?” she asked.
Paul’s mother also tells KSL NewsRadio that the justice system has let the Polynesian people down.
“Had my son been a white male that had been shot in front of Hunter High School, I’m telling you right now,” she said. “All four individuals would have been taken in and would never have been let go.”
Gill issued a statement to KSL NewsRadio about the event outside his office.
The 15-year-old received a plea deal earlier this week. He will spend the next six years in juvenile detention. When he reaches 21, he’ll be released without a criminal record.
Mark Jones contributed to this article.
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