Teen suspect in deadly Hunter High shooting ordered to stand trial

Posted at 4:39 PM, Aug 24, 2022

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — The teenager accused of fatally shooting two fellow Hunter High School students, and wounding a third, has been ordered by a judge to stand trial.

In a hearing Wednesday, Judge David Johnson said prosecutors had proven there was probable cause that the unidentified teen had shot the students.

Tivani Lopati, 14, and Paul Tahi, 15, were killed in the Jan. 13 shooting outside the school, while Ephraim Asiata, 15, was critically wounded and hospitalized.

At the time, police said the shooting stemmed from a dispute between two groups of students at the school.

The suspect, who was 14 years old at the time of the shooting, was charged with two counts of felony murder, two counts of felony discharge of a weapon, and one count each of obstructing justice, possession of a weapon on school grounds and possession of a weapon by a minor.

During a hearing weeks after the shooting, the suspect told the judge that he was a "good kid," before he was advised to speak through his attorney.

A justification hearing has been scheduled for October where defense attorneys will presumably argue that their client only fired at the victims in self defense.