6 months after Highland Park massacre, wounded 8-year-old Cooper Roberts continues recovery

Cooper Roberts uses a wheelchair after he was shot in his spine and paralyzed during the Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park.

Photo provided by family

The mother of 8-year-old Cooper Roberts has shared new details about his recovery after he was wounded six months ago in the July 4 parade massacre in Highland Park.

Cooper was shot in his spine and paralyzed below his waist in the shooting, in which seven people were killed and nearly 50 others wounded.

“I have been feeling very, very emotional about this anniversary. Six months. Six months since a monster shattered our lives, changed them irrevocably, forever,” Keely Roberts wrote in a statement released to the media late Wednesday.

Cooper is continuing to recover but still struggles with digestion, physical pain and “is learning to live with the loss of favorite activities that have been ripped away from him,” his mother said.

Cooper, who loves sports and recently returned to school with his twin brother, misses his teammates and the camaraderie, she wrote. “He still loves physical education class and recess best, but he is rope climbing or watching — not playing the team sports that he adores,” she wrote.

To keep their living space accessible to Cooper, the family moved into another home and has been raising money to find a permanent one.

Since the shooting, the family hasn’t lived in their old home, which now looks “like a time capsule,” Keely Roberts said. The family needs to move from their temporary home in a couple of months, she said.

Keely Roberts will undergo a procedure soon for her own injury from the shooting, a gunshot wound to her leg, she said.

Cooper’s four sisters, who were not at the parade, feel survivor’s guilt, their mother said.

“It’s a long, long road with a lot of sadness. But as always, we are overwhelmed with the good in the world. Truly. I cannot begin to share how much each and every kindness has meant to our family — and there have been tens of thousands of them,” she wrote.

Robert Crimo III has been charged in the mass shooting. Crimo is accused of firing a high-powered rifle into the crowd from a rooftop.

Crimo’s father was charged in December with reckless conduct for helping his then-underage son apply for a gun permit in 2019 even though the teen previously threatened to kill himself and his family.

In addition to criminal charges, civil lawsuits related to the shootings have been filed, including one by lawyers for the Roberts family, against Crimo, his father, two gun stores and gunmaker Smith & Wesson.

Friends of the family have raised more than $2 million through GoFundMe for Cooper’s recovery. The family has started a separate fundraiser to buy or build a new accessible home.

Cooper Roberts, right, and his twin brother Luke.

Provided by family

Cooper Roberts undergoes physical therapy.

Photo provided by family

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