The 8-year-old boy who was shot and paralyzed after the Highland Park parade is now conscious and his condition has improved, a spokesperson said Friday. He has been asking to see his twin brother and his dog.
A spokesperson for the Roberts family said Cooper Roberts, 8, is now in serious condition, according to ABC7 Chicago. He was previously in critical condition.
Cooper is conscious for the first time since the shooting and he was removed from a ventilator, ABC7 reported.
He asked to see his twin brother, Luke, who suffered shrapnel injuries from the incident, and his dog.
Dr. Keely Roberts, the superintendent for Zion Elementary School District 6, was attending the Highland Park parade on Monday with her two twin sons, Cooper and Luke.
Keely and Cooper were both shot at around 10:14 a.m. near Second Street and Central Avenue.
A GoFundMe account organized by friends of the Roberts family said Keely Roberts was seriously injured but will recover.
Cooper was shot in the chest and his spinal cord was severed.
He was airlifted to a hospital in Chicago where he underwent several surgeries.
Tony Loizzi, a friend and colleague of Keely Roberts, said Luke is recovering at home with his sisters.
Keely underwent several surgeries after she received gunshot wounds to her leg and foot area. She was later discharged from the hospital.
“Quite frankly, she probably should not have been discharged but, she insisted on it so that she could be at her son’s side, Cooper, who is at a hospital in the city with her husband,” Loizzi said.
Doctors were able to finally close up Cooper’s belly Wednesday evening, Loizzi said.
A family spokesperson told the media Thursday that Cooper is paralyzed from the waist down.
Active and retired superintendents across the state have reached out to the school district to help while the family recovers, Loizzi said.
Loizzi said Keely “works hard day and night” for her school district.
Over 13,000 donors raised over $800,000 for the Roberts family as of Friday afternoon.
Police said that Robert E. Crimo III, 21, of Highwood, was responsible for the shooting.
He was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder Tuesday evening, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said.
Many additional charges will be filed against Crimo, Rinehart said.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesman Christopher Covelli said that Crimo pre-planned the attack for several weeks.
Crimo allegedly brought a high-powered rifle to the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park.
Covelli said that Crimo used a fire escape ladder to access the roof of a building on the parade route.
Crimo then allegedly opened fire on parade-goers, killing seven people and injuring over 45 people. Over 80 rounds were fired from the rifle.
Crimo, who was dressed as a woman, exited the roof, dropped the rifle and escaped with the fleeing crowd, according to Covelli.
Crimo walked to his mother’s Highland Park home, which is nearby the parade route, and borrowed her silver 2010 Honda Fit, Covelli said.
A person spotted the wanted Honda Fit as it traveled southbound on Route 41 in North Chicago around 6:30 p.m. Monday as an intense manhunt was underway.
The person called 911 and a North Chicago police officer who was sitting at Route 41 and Buckley Road in North Chicago spotted Crimo drive past in the vehicle, Covelli and Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said.
A short pursuit ensued and it came to an end at Route 41 and Westleigh Road in Lake Forest.
Officers arrested Crimo and located a second rifle in his vehicle. The two rifles along with three other guns seized were legally purchased by Crimo himself.
Covelli said in a follow-up press conference that law enforcement had two prior encounters with Crimo.
One of those occurred in April 2019 when Highland Park police responded to a delayed report from a family member that Crimo attempted suicide.
Officers spoke to Crimo and his parents and determined the matter was being handled by mental health professionals, Covelli said.
The second encounter was in September 2019 when a family member reported Crimo threatened to “kill everyone.”
Police responded and removed 16 knives and other weapons from his residence. They then notified the Illinois State Police but officers did not arrest Crimo.
Covelli said there are no indications anyone else was involved in the Monday shooting.
Crimo confessed to the attack and told investigators that he had contemplated committing a second attack in Wisconsin.
He remains held in the Lake County Jail after Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered him held without bond Wednesday morning.