8-Year-Old Boy Paralyzed and May Never Walk Again After Being Shot During Highland Park Attack

Cooper Roberts was shot in the chest when a gunman opened fire at a Highland Park parade; his mother and twin brother also suffered injuries

8 year old paralyzed
Photo: gofundme

An 8-year-old boy may never walk again after being shot in the chest at a 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

Cooper Roberts was at the event with his parents and twin brother when tragedy struck as a gunman opened fire, killing seven people and injuring dozens, according to CNN.

The child "was shot in the chest and he suffered significant injuries including a severed spinal cord," Anthony Loizzi, a spokesperson for his family told NBC News on Thursday.

He added that Cooper had to get "several surgeries" after Monday's shooting, with the last being on Wednesday night, when "doctors were finally able to close up his belly."

As of the interview, Cooper was "sedated and on a ventilator, in critical but stable condition," Loizzi said. "The Roberts family is so appreciative of the prayers and support that have come in and have been shared with them."

Sharing more about Cooper, Loizzi said that "he loves sports, that's his passion" and is "a Milwaukee Brewers fan. Every time I talk to his mom about him he's always very active, way into sports, loves baseball."

Because of the injuries Cooper suffered, he is going to experience "a new normal," Loizzi said. "They're not sure, due to the severed spinal cord, whether or not he'll be able to walk again in the future. It sounds as if he'll have significant issues moving forward, especially with walking."

"It's been a very emotional time for everybody in their circle," he continued.

He saluted Cooper's mother Keely as "a fighter", adding, "It sounds like Cooper got that part of her in him because he's fighting as hard as he can."

He also told CNN that Keely "was shot in the leg and foot area" and had multiple operations. She was released from the hospital so she could be by Cooper's side. His twin brother Luke is back home after being injured from fragments of a bullet shell.

RELATED VIDEO: Police and State Attorney Hold Press Conference after Highland Park Shooting Suspect's Hearing

A GoFundMe created by friends of the Roberts family has raised more than $529,000 of its $750,000 goal in an effort to pay for medical bills the family will face.

"The doctors have determined that he will be paralyzed from the waist down. Cooper continues to fight as hard as he can," it reads, later adding in an update that "the next benchmark is to get him off the ventilator."

On Tuesday, Robert E. Crimo, III, 21, was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in connection to the shooting, Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart announced in a press conference.

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Authorities said the high-powered rifle used in the shooting had been purchased legally. Crimo allegedly climbed a fire escape to access the roof of a building, and then allegedly fired off more than 70 rounds during the assault.

Authorities allege that the gunman was dressed as a woman while he carried out the shooting.

The alleged shooter was spotted in North Chicago. Police attempted a traffic stop, Covelli said. The man fled. After a brief chase, police stopped him in Lake Forest, where he was taken into custody without incident.

The investigation is ongoing.

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