8-Year-Old Boy Paralyzed by Gunshot at Highland Park Massacre Is Conscious for the First Time


CHICAGO — An 8-year-old boy who was shot in the chest at the Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park is now paralyzed from the waist down, his family said Friday through their spokesman.

Cooper Roberts, one of the Roberts family’s twin boys, had remained in critical condition for several days with a severed spinal cord. His condition has been upgraded to serious, the spokesman said.

On Friday, Cooper was removed from the ventilator and was conscious for the first time, but it was confirmed that the boy is paralyzed from the waist down, close friend and family spokesman Anthony Loizzi said in a statement.

“Cooper is asking to see his 8-year-old twin, Luke, and his dog, George,” the statement said.

On a Zoom call Thursday, Loizzi told reporters that the family feared that the child would never walk again due to the severity of his injuries.

Keely Roberts, who is superintendent of Zion Elementary School District 6, and her husband, Jason Roberts, attended the Fourth of July parade with Cooper and Luke.

Keely Roberts was shot in the foot and leg and Luke was wounded in the leg by shrapnel. They are expected to fully recover, Loizzi said.

Even after undergoing several surgeries for injuries suffered in the mass shooting herself, Keely Roberts told doctors she needed to be discharged from the hospital she was in so she could be with Cooper, who was at a different one, Loizzi said.

“Right now their focus is Cooper,” he said. “The Roberts family is so appreciative of the prayers and support that have come in and have been shared with them,” Loizzi said.

Cooper was described as a boy who likes to play sports and is a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The twins attend Braeside Elementary School in Highland Park.

The family is devastated but hopeful, Loizzi added. Luke is being taken care of by his four older sisters while his mother and father remain by Cooper’s side at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.

“If you know Keely, 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,” he said.

A GoFundMe page for the family is collecting donations. Loizzi said that during their difficult times the family has requested privacy and asked for financial support to ensure Cooper receives the proper treatment and therapy.