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Students from across Salt Lake area honor shooting victims in emotional video

Posted at 3:50 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 23:32:43-05

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A group of high school students from several schools across the Salt Lake area joined together in a video to honor the three teens shot in West Valley City earlier this month.

Set to the song "We Won't Move" by Arlissa, the video opens with scenes from the memorial created for Tivani Lopati, Paul Tahi and Ephraim Asiata, the three boys shot near Hunter High School on Jan. 13. Lopati and Tahi were killed in the shooting, and Asiata was critically wounded but is recovering and able to move around the hospital.

WVC Tribute Video

Student body presidents from areas such as Magna, Taylorsville, Kearns and West Valley City, speak directly to the camera about the need to end the gun violence they have seen too much of recently.

READ: How to help families of West Valley City shooting victims

“The violence that’s happening in our neighborhoods needs to come to an end. The current events that happened here at Hunter High affected all of us as one,” said Mel Iongi, student body president of Granger High School.

The teens explained why it was important to speak as one instead of separately.

"It's at times like this, and every minute in between, that we are all in this together," said Ashlyn Cleveland from Kearns High School.

Taylorsville High School’s Corben Cox added, "Despite being from different backgrounds and different cities, we can still support each other."

The video was posted on the Cyprus High School Student Government's Instagram page and was created by the group's president, according to the post.

Multiple comments expressed gratitude and praise for the video, which had been viewed nearly 1,600 times.

"This is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. We are all in this together," wrote @gabebosque.

"This made me so emotional. I love this community & I'm so blessed to be apart of it," @itskaylar commented.

The five student body presidents met with FOX 13 News Tuesday night to discuss more about their message. The teens barely knew each other before coming together to create the clip.

“I didn’t get the chance to know any of the boys, but it really saddens your heart no matter what,” said Carlianne Smith from Cyprus High School.

“A lot of discussions like this can be very uncomfortable, but in order for stuff to change, we need to have those,” said Cleveland.

Hunter High School student body president Chason Rogers said it’s been a tough week and a half for him and his classmates.

“It’s really sad cause it’s not just their brothers and sisters that go to our school. It’s their cousins, their nieces even,” he said.

The students also want the families of the victims to know they have their back.

“To the Tahi, Lopati, and Asiata family: We are in your corner. We are one,” the students say in the video.