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8-Year-Old Highland Park Boy Shot During Fourth Of July Parade Has Severed Spinal Cord

Cooper Roberts, a little boy who loved playing sports, may never walk again after a bullet struck his spinal cord while he and his family were at the Highland Park July 4th parade.

By Gina Tron
police officer walks down Central Avenue in Highland Park on July 4, 2022

More stories are beginning to emerge about the victims of the Highland Park shooting — including an 8-year-old boy who will face challenges, possibly for the rest of his life, as a result of being shot.

Cooper Roberts, age 8, was one of the dozens of people injured during the mass shooting at the 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois on Monday. Seven people were killed — including Irina and Kevin McCarthy, whose murders left their two-year-old son orphaned. His father shielded him, even as he was shot to death

Cooper was also at the parade with his parents and twin brother when he was struck by gunfire. Anthony Loizzi, a spokesperson for his family, told Oxygen.com via email on Friday that Cooper was "shot in the chest and suffered a severed spinal cord injury in the Highland Park, Illinois Independence Day parade."

He told NBC News that the child had to undergo "several surgeries" — including one on Wednesday during which "doctors were finally able to close up his belly."

Loizzi told Oxygen.com on Friday that "Cooper’s medical status has been upgraded to serious, which is a very positive development."

Cooper is conscious "for the first time" and has been removed from his ventilator, according to Lozzi. While he is "in a great deal of pain, the doctors do not believe that he suffered any brain damage or cognitive impact from the shooting."

Loizzi confirmed that doctors believe Cooper is paralyzed from the waist down.

Cooper, who is one of the youngest victims of the shooting, loves sports and the Milwaukee Brewers, Loizzi told reporters at a Thursday press conference.

The child is "asking to see his eight-year-old twin Luke and his dog George," the spokesperson told Oxygen.com on Friday.

Cooper's mother, Keely, and his twin brother Luke were also injured in the shooting. Keely was shot in the leg and foot area, and has also undergone multiple operations. Luke is back home after getting injured by bullet fragments.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with medical costs.

On Tuesday, Robert E. Crimo, III, 21, was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder for the mass shooting.

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