WEST VALLEY, Utah (ABC4) – After a shooting that killed his two close friends, Ephraim Asiata has defied the odds and doctors’ predictions, and is now out of the ICU.
The shooting, which resulted in the tragic deaths of 15-year-old Paul Tahi and 14-year-old Tivani Lopati, both students of Hunter High School, happened when a dispute between two groups escalated into a fight and ultimately, a shooting, police say.
Principal of Hunter High, Ryan Oaks, called upon the public to pray for Asiata, who had been in critical condition since the shooting, saying, “Ephraim continues to struggle, but he fights on hour by hour. Please keep Ephraim in your thoughts and prayers.”
Doctors gave 15-year-old Asiata a one percent chance of survival, and his recovery is seen as nothing short of a miracle.
Muka Atiga, Ephraim’s uncle, has stated, “he’s got a long road ahead of him. As far as injuries, I won’t get into too much details. We’re hopeful that maybe at most a couple more weeks in the hospital. But he’s always been known for proving us wrong on everything else so he may be out sooner.”
Atiga expresses that the West Valley City community has showed up every day in support of his nephew, and that the family could not be more grateful.
Atigasaid that Ephraim’s sister and father, who was Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata, have not left Ephraim’s bedside.