The 8-year-old boy who was shot and paralyzed in the Highland Park parade shooting is now in “very critical condition” after previously waking up yesterday.
Cooper Roberts, 8, suffered a gunshot to the abdomen and his spinal cord was severed. He was airlifted to a hospital in Chicago where he remains.
Cooper underwent a procedure on Monday which revealed a tear in his esophagus reopened.
Doctors said one of Cooper’s lungs is also partially collapsed.
He underwent his seventh surgery to repair the tear in his esophagus on Tuesday, which was successful, according to a family spokesperson.
Cooper woke up on Thursday morning and initial signs were positive. He no longer had a fever and was breathing over the ventilator.
The spokesperson said Cooper’s fever returned later Thursday and a CT scan showed fluid building in his esophagus, lungs and now pelvis.
Cooper, who is paralyzed from the waist down, remains on a ventilator and breathing tube due to his condition worsening.
“Please keep sending love and prayers to my son as he continues to fight as hard as he can,” Cooper’s mother, Keely Roberts, said.
Keely Roberts, who is the superintendent for Zion Elementary School District 6, was attending the Highland Park parade on July 4 with her two twin sons, Cooper and Luke.
Keely and Cooper were both shot when a gunman opened fire during the parade, wounding dozens of people and killing seven.
Over $1.5 million has been raised in a GoFundMe account for the Roberts family.
Keely Roberts was seriously injured but will recover.
Tony Loizzi, a friend and colleague of Keely Roberts, said Luke is recovering at home with his sisters.
Keely underwent several surgeries after she suffered 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.
Active and retired superintendents across the state have reached out to the Zion school district to help while the family recovers, Loizzi said.
Loizzi said Keely “works hard day and night” for her school district.
Police previously said that Robert E. Crimo III, 21, of Highwood, was responsible for the July 4 shooting.
He was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, 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. July 4 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.
He remains held in the Lake County Jail after Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered him held without bond.