8-year-old suffered severed spinal cord in Highland Park shooting that also wounded twin brother, mom

Cooper Roberts, 8, was shot in the chest and had his spinal cord severed during Monday's Highland Park shooting.

Keely Roberts – lying in a hospital bed with gunshot wounds to her leg and foot following Monday’s shooting at the Highland Park parade – gave the medical staff a choice when she learned her son Cooper had suffered a severed spinal cord and was in critical condition at a different area hospital.

“She told her doctors and nurses that they should either discharge her or she’d walk out on her own, because she needed to be with her son,” family friend Anthony Loizzi said.

Three members of the Roberts family were among the dozens injured in Monday’s shooting, including 8-year-old twins Cooper and Luke, and Keely, who is the superintendent at Zion Elementary School District 6.

Three members of the Roberts family were wounded during Monday's Highland Park shooting, 8-year-old twins Luke and Cooper, bottom left, and their mother Keely, far right. Also pictured are sisters Emily and Ella Roberts, far left and second from right, and their father, Jason, second from left.

Cooper suffered the most significant injuries after being shot in the chest. Loizzi said that Cooper has undergone numerous surgeries, including one Wednesday night to close his stomach. Cooper currently is sedated and on a ventilator, in critical but stable condition, at Comer’s Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Loizzi did not know if Cooper was paralyzed, but he did say that’s the biggest concern.

“I believe that is a possibility,” he said. “I believe that’s their major concern, but I do not have confirmation for that.”

While Keely, who also underwent several surgeries, was released against the recommendation of doctors, Luke suffered shrapnel wounds to his lower body and was treated and released.

Keely and her husband, Jason, attended Monday’s parade with the two boys. Jason was unhurt. Cooper and Luke have four sisters – Payton, 26, Ella, 22, Grace, 21, and Emily, 18 – but none of them were at the parade.

Officials have said the youngest people wounded in the shooting were 8 years old. Loizzi said Cooper and Luke attend Braeside Elementary School in Highland Park.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe fundraising campaign to help the Roberts family handle medical bills and future therapy costs for Cooper. As of Thursday afternoon, the campaign had raised more than $200,000.