"It's going to be a new normal for him moving forward," their family spokesperson said.
Trigger Warning: This story mentions gun violence that may be disturbing to readers.
Cooper Roberts is an 8-year-old boy who is a huge baseball aficionado. The little boy with big dreams attended the Highland Park Fourth of July parade with his parents and twin brother, and he is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Cooper was shot in the chest and suffered several significant injuries, including a severed spinal cord, family spokesperson Anthony Loizzi told CNN on July 7, 2022. Cooper, had surgery on July 6, 2022, to close up his tummy and he may never be able to walk again. He is critical but stable in the hospital, sedated, and on a ventilator, added Loizzi.
"It's going to be a new normal for him moving forward," Loizzi said. "It sounds (like) he'll have significant issues moving forward, especially with walking."
Cooper Roberts, 8, who was shot during the July 4th parade in Highland Park, is still in the hospital in critical condition with a severed spinal cord. He may never walk again and his family faces incalculable medical bills.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 7, 2022
So much fucking freedom. https://t.co/PwAlMUYK0j
According to Loizzi, Cooper and his twin, Luke, loved the parade which ended tragically. A shooter opened fire from a rooftop with a semi-automatic rifle which left seven dead and several others injured. Luke also sustained injuries from shrapnel and is now recovering at home.
Their mother, Keely Roberts, underwent several surgeries after she "was shot in the leg and foot area" and is discharged because she insisted that she wanted to be with her son. Roberts is a superintendent at Zion Elementary School District 6, per NBC News. Loizzi said that Roberts is a fighter and Cooper also is fighting as hard as possible.
8-year-old-Cooper Roberts was shot in the chest at the #HighlandPark parade.— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) July 7, 2022
-His spinal cord was severed. He is in critical condition
-His mother and brother were also shot/hit with shrapnel.
-He is sedated on ventilator
“Cooper will have a new normal” @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/3SfTcF8AFx
A GoFundMe campaign has been created in support of the family with all the unforeseen medical expenses.
Cooper, who loves baseball, is a Milwaukee Brewers fan, Loizzi added. The twins have four older sisters. Their oldest sister said in a statement that he is "unbelievably athletic" and "loves soccer, riding his bike, baseball." She mentioned that Cooper loved the first Brewers game he went to about a week or so ago.
The sister said that Cooper and Luke are "best friends, partners in crime." "Cooper has never met a stranger a day in his life - everyone he meets is his instant best friend (second only to Luke)." She added, "He is so studious and loves to read - a literal bookworm. Maybe that's why he is the funniest, most engaging story teller you'll ever meet. There's nothing this kid can't do and no words for the amount of goodness within him."
A family spokesperson shared these photos of 8-year-old Cooper Roberts. He is in critical condition after being shot in the back in #HighlandPark— Stephanie Haines (@TMJ4Stephanie) July 7, 2022
His sister writes he went to his 1st @brewers game last week and "couldn’t have loved it more" pic.twitter.com/46lIbQBpHx
Loizzi described Roberts to be always committed to her students, working "around the clock," and "worrying about students in her schools and how she can support them and serve them." He added that she "gives all of herself, works hard day and night to serve students and families in public schools. And now she, and her family, need our support."
As for the shooter, a 21-year-old Illinois man has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. According to records, he bought four weapons in 2020, including the AR-15-style weapon used in the attack on July 4, 2022, officials said.
Cooper’s mom, Dr. Keely Roberts was also shot and wounded at the parade. A GoFundMe has been established to help cover the family’s expenses. https://t.co/Gu1t1Q6Sj4— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 7, 2022
Cover Image source: GoFundMe | The Cooper Roberts Family Fundraiser