MURRAY, Utah (ABC4) – Standing in the parking lot of the Intermountain Medical Center, where his son is recovering from wounds suffered in a shooting that left two teenagers dead, former football star Matt Asiata gave thanks to those who have shown support.

On Sunday, hundreds of community members drove through the parking lot at the hospital with ribbons and well wishes to give their support to the Asiata family, as well as to the families of Tivani Lopati and Paul Tahi. In a shooting that followed a dispute near Hunter High School earlier this month, Lopati and Tahi, ages 14 and 15, were killed, and 15-year-old Ephraim Asiata was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Members of Asiata’s family say it’s a miracle that the teenager is still alive. Doctors gave him just a 1% chance of survival upon his arrival at the hospital, they say.

Taking a microphone and addressing a crowd of supporters on Sunday, the father and former professional running back, who starred at Hunter and the University of Utah from 2008-10 before a five-year career with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, was overwhelmed.

Asiata first credited his faith and deity for their providence in keeping Ephraim alive before thanking the community for their efforts.

“It’s because of you guys, the prayers, the fasting, the support, the unconditional love, that my son is still here,” he stated.

He also added – perhaps half-jokingly, perhaps not – that his family tried to sneak Ephraim out to see the crowd, but that the nurses at the hospital had promptly nipped that idea in the bud.

A legendary athletic figure in the Hunter High School community, Asiata thanked his hometown for the outreach to his family.

“Wherever you guys are from, to the city of West Valley, we thank you, we thank you, we thank you,” he repeated. “I wish I had big ol’ arms to hug you all at once.”

The family is hopeful that Ephraim can be released in a couple of weeks.