University of Utah Football team seeks prayers for Hunter High players shot near school, including son of former Ute star Matt Asiata

Police on the scene of a fatal shooting near Hunter High School in West Valley City, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 14, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The University of Utah Football team is asking for prayers for the three Hunter High football players who were shot near the school Thursday, including the son of former Ute running back and ex-Minnesota Viking Matt Asiata.

Two of the victims, 14-year-old Tivani Lopati and 15-year-old Paul Tahi, died in the shooting.

Fifteen-year-old Ephraim Asiata was shot and critically wounded.

Another teen, believed to be the shooter, has been arrested in the case, and three others could face charges, according to the West Valley City Police Department. All involved were 14 or 15 years old.

“Our hearts break for the families of Paul Tahi and Tivani Lopati,” the Utes’ statement says. “We send all our love and support in this incredibly difficult time.”

“We are asking for everyone to join us and our community in praying for Ephraim Asiata and his family,” said the tweet, adding “EPRHAIMSTRONG”

Matt Asiata, a Hunter High graduate, attended the University of Utah and played from 2007 to 2010. He played for the Vikings 2012-2017.

Ephraim Asiata is reported as being in critical but stable condition.


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