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8-year-old boy shot at Highland Park parade may not walk again, family says

Baseball-loving Cooper Roberts was with his family when he was shot in the chest. He suffered significant injuries, including a severed spinal cord.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — An 8-year-old boy who was shot in the chest by a gunman who killed seven people and wounded dozens of others at a Fourth of July parade may never walk again, a family spokesperson said Thursday.

Cooper Roberts was at Monday's holiday celebration with his twin brother, Luke, and their parents when shots erupted in the Chicago suburb, family friend Anthony Loizzi said at a news conference.

“Cooper was shot in the chest and suffered significant injuries, including a severed spinal cord,” Loizzi said.

Cooper, a baseball aficionado and Milwaukee Brewers fan, was in “critical but stable” condition on a ventilator Thursday at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Cooper’s mother, Keely Roberts, was also shot, and twin brother Luke sustained shrapnel injuries, Loizzi said.

8-year-old Cooper Roberts.
8-year-old Cooper Roberts.Courtesy Roberts Family

Keely Roberts, a superintendent at Zion Elementary School District 6, was shot in a leg and a foot, Loizzi said. She has undergone two operations and was discharged Wednesday so she could be with Cooper.

Luke has been released from the hospital, too, Loizzi said.

He said Cooper, who had surgery Wednesday to close up his belly, may never walk again but is exhibiting strength, a trait he shares with his mother.

“She’s just a fighter, and it sounds like Cooper got that part of her in him, because he is fighting as hard as he can,” Loizzi said.

Donations are pouring into a GoFundMe campaign created to help cover the family’s medical expenses and Cooper's ongoing treatment.

Loizzi said the Roberts family is “devastated” but continues to find strength from one another. Cooper is one of six children.

“They’re focusing all their energy right now on Cooper,” he said.

A 21-year-old Illinois man has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in the holiday massacre. Records show that he bought four weapons in 2020, including the AR-15-style weapon used in Monday’s attack, officials said.