Cooper Roberts, an 8-year-old boy who was shot and paralysed in the Highland Park mass shooting on July 4, is being given powerful painkillers and going through strenuous physical therapy, which has left him feeling “hopeless, sad, and angry as the reality of his life is setting in,” according to his family.
Following the boy’s gunshot wound, which left him paralysed from the waist down and damaged internal organs, the family has frequently submitted updates to the media that show the ups and downs of his recuperation.
During the Highland Park July 4 parade, Robert E. Crimo III, 21, is suspected of firing a powerful military-style weapon into the crowd from a rooftop, killing seven people and injuring scores more. He is being held without bond in the Lake County Jail in Waukegan and is facing more than 100 accusations, including numerous counts of murder.
The statement from the Roberts family also mentioned that being shot by a sniper comes with “layers upon layers of brutality,” but it made no mention of reforms to gun laws or rights in general.
The Highland Park City Council decided on Monday to press the state and federal governments to enact legislation to prevent mass shootings and gun violence. The Lake County Board approved a related resolution last week.
Cooper’s body was ripped apart by a bullet, which also severed his spinal chord and injured his oesophagus, liver, and abdominal aorta.
According to his family, Cooper is largely on a liquid diet through a feeding tube and his inside wounds are “difficult to heal.” After being given the go-ahead to consume a few bites of limited solid foods, “he could barely manage a bite or two before feeling too full and ill.”