West Valley City, UT –

Two Hunter High School students and football players are dead after a shooting occurred just off the campus of the West Valley City, Utah school during the scheduled lunch break a little after 11:00 am on Thursday, January 13, 2022. A third student was critically injured.

The incident happened along 4100 South on the sidewalk between Mountain View Corridor. Almost immediately the schools nearby were put into lockdowns, while police and medical first responders took over the situation.

The two students killed were identified as Paul Tahi (15 years old) and Tivani Lopati (14 years old) with the other being identified by social media posts of an official statement by Granite School District as Ephraim Asiata (15 years old).

A witness to the lockdown at Hunter High reported, “It was a long day and rough for everyone.”

According to the statements from West Valley City Police representative, Roxanne Vainuku, “The shooting stemmed from a fight between two groups of high school students. The students involved knew each other.”

There were no statements mentioned of the incident being related to street gang activity as West Valley City is notorious for its Polynesian street gangs and crime. However, the investigation into the shooting just started and more information will be released later.

Hunter High School released students and ended school early at 1:00 pm after the incident was cleared and the lockdown was lifted. Three other schools were “sheltered in place” until noon. These three schools included Hunter Junior High, Hillside Elementary, and Whittier Elementary.

A gun was recovered by the police and is believed to be connected to the shooting. They also have arrested and booked a 14-year-old boy into juvenile detention Thursday night. Another three juveniles were taken into questioning but released later. The identification of the booked juvenile was withheld at the moment by authorities.

Families, friends, and community members gathered by the crime scene and brought flowers and hugged each other as the mood was somber and heartbreak was evident.

Hunter High Principal Ryan Oaks released a letter to the parents of all students announcing grief counselors were available for all students and the school crisis team will be in full action on Friday. All athletic games and events on Friday were rescheduled for February 9, 2022.

No other information pertaining to the preliminary “fight” incident and events that led to the shooting were released by police. The shooting is under full investigation at this time.

The Crime Scene collect the suspected gun connected to the shooting that involved Hunter High School students. (Photo posted on social media by KUTV2)


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