Cooper Roberts, 8, shot at Highland Park Fourth of July parade, sees ‘hopeful progress’

“He sat up, with assistance, and took a brief ride in a wheelchair over the weekend — sadly something he will need to get used to,” the family said.

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Cooper Roberts, 8, who was paralyzed when a bullet severed his spinal cord during the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park.

Cooper Roberts, 8, was paralyzed when a bullet severed his spinal cord during the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park.

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Cooper Roberts, the 8-year-old boy paralyzed when he was shot in the Highland Park Fourth of July parade mass shooting, is “making some hopeful progress,” his family said Monday, but is still in critical condition.

The boy has been taken off a ventilator, is breathing on his own and, after his fever shot up last week, he’s been fever-free for 48 hours, the Roberts family said in a written statement.

“He sat up, with assistance, and took a brief ride in a wheelchair over the weekend — sadly something he will need to get used to,” the family said. “It was very difficult and emotional for him and his family.”

The boy has fluid in his pelvis, which “remains concerning,” the family said.

An ultrasound was scheduled for Monday “to help the medical and surgical teams determine next steps.”

He’s being treated at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital.

Cooper was paralyzed from the waist down when a bullet severed his spinal cord. It entered the boy’s abdomen and also tore into his liver, abdominal aorta and esophagus. He’s had multiple surgeries.

Cooper was among dozens hurt in the mass shooting. Seven people were killed.

Robert E. Crimo III, 21, is accused of firing a military-style semi-automatic rifle from a nearby rooftop and faces murder charges.

A GoFundMe set up to pay for Cooper’s medical care has raised almost $1.6 million from about 24,000 donations.

“The family continues to be very grateful for and humbled by the outpouring of support and well-wishes,” the Roberts family said Monday.

Cooper’s story has drawn an outpouring of sympathy. “Praying for Cooper’s recovery” and “nothing but prayers” are among the hundreds of messages of support on GoFundMe. “Let him live, God,” “this poor child” and “everyone say a prayer for Cooper Roberts” are among recent comments on Twitter.

The boy’s mother, Keely Roberts, and his twin brother, Luke, also were injured at the July 4 shooting. Keely Roberts, the superintendent of Zion Elementary School District 6, underwent operations for foot and leg wounds. Luke was treated for shrapnel injuries to a leg. Cooper, his brother, mother and father, Jason, all attended the Fourth of July parade.

Cooper remains in the pediatric intensive care unit at Comer, though his family is hopeful he’ll be moved from there later this week if his condition continues to improve.

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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