Family of Cooper Roberts, paralyzed in Highland Park mass shooting, raising money for new home

The 8-year-old’s family is trying to raise $2 million to buy or build a house with easy access for his wheelchair.

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Cooper Roberts (right) poses with his twin brother Luke. Cooper’s spinal cord was severed by a bullet during a mass shooting in Highland Park July 4.

Cooper Roberts (right) is shown with his twin brother, Luke. Cooper’s spinal cord was severed by a bullet during the mass shooting in Highland Park July 4.

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The family of Cooper Roberts, the Highland Park boy paralyzed during a mass shooting, is trying to raise $2 million to buy or build a new home that is accessible for the wheelchair-bound 8-year-old.

“Our entire family has a long road of healing and recovery ahead but we will face each day with bravery, hope, love and a belief in the best in people,” Cooper’s mom Keely Roberts said in a letter released to the media Monday. “We can do so in confidence because we are reminded every day of this through your acts of kindness and love that the world is a remarkable place, filled with great people who go out of their way to care for others.”

Cooper’s spinal cord was severed by a bullet, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. He also suffered organ damage and continues to receive therapy following the shooting at a July 4 celebration in Highland Park.

After the shooting, his family and friends raised more than $2 million through GoFundMe. The new fundraiser for the home is separate and also through GoFundMe.

Keely Roberts and Cooper’s twin brother, Luke, were injured at the shooting but their wounds were far less serious. His father, Jason, was at the event but not injured, and none of his four older sisters were at the celebration.

The family hasn’t made any public appearances or given interviews, but members have provided updates through written statements to the media since the shooting. Heading into the holidays, the family has had to “dig deep” to cope with the stress and to support Cooper and his brother, who is dealing with the emotional strain, Keely Roberts said in her most recent letter.

“Our entire lives have been completely shattered, and we are working as best we can to put the pieces back together,” she said.

Robert E. Crimo III, 22, is charged with killing seven people and wounding dozens of others by shooting a military-style rifle into the crowd from a nearby rooftop at the July 4 event.

In addition to criminal charges, multiple 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.

Last week, Crimo’s father was charged 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.

“Thank you for helping us to continue to teach our children that, even in the face of this evil bestowed upon us, the world is beautiful, miracles are real, people are wonderful and that good always prevails over evil in the end,” Keely Roberts said.

Cooper Roberts and his brother got a French bulldog, George, about a year ago. The dog has provided comfort to Cooper since his shooting injury that left him paralyzed.

Cooper Roberts pets his French bulldog, George. The dog has provided comfort to Cooper since the shooting injury that left him paralyzed.

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Brett Chase’s reporting on the environment and public health is made possible by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust.

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