Highland Park family recovering from parade shooting, receive growing support from community
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill (CBS 58) -- An eight-year-old boy is clinging to life at a Chicago hospital. He's one of the most critically wounded from an active shooter at the Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The vigil here in Highland Park is home for Cooper Roberts, but his family has Wisconsin connections. His older sisters live in Wisconsin and Cooper loves baseball. His favorite team, the Milwaukee Brewers!
This is the Roberts family. Mom, dad and their twin boys went to the Highland Park parade. Only dad made it home that day. 8-year-old Cooper is still on a ventilator after being shot in the chest.
"He's undergone several surgeries since Monday, including one last night in which doctors were finally able to close up his belly" said Tony Loizzi a family friend of the Roberts.
It's unclear if Cooper will walk again. His twin brother Luke also got hurt.
"Shrapnel injuries I believe in his lower body. They tried to remove some of it and others they said removal would cause more damage so I believe they left the pieces in him," said Loizzi.
Their mom is Dr. Keely Roberts, superintendent of elementary school district 6 just across the state line, in Zion. Bullets hit her leg, and Tony Loizzi says she probably should still be in the hospital but you can't keep a mother from her child.
"After she had her second surgery she received news that Cooper's spinal cord had been severed, 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," said Loizzi.
The rooftop gunman shot a total of 45 people. GoFundMe pages, hoping to ease some of the financial burdens for all. These are the seven who died, including the wife of a former Hartford ER doctor, Katherine Goldstein.
"She was a friend to everybody. I mean everybody loved her. Kind and selfless, just a beautiful person," said Stacie Primer, close friend.
Primer says the public's generosity has been overwhelming. She says the Goldstein family is now hoping to pass that generosity onto others.
"Craig's an ER physician and it's always been their mo. I'm not surprised when I saw that because I signed up for the meals as well and I brought over food today and I'm not surprised that they said we've had enough. Let's help somebody else," said Primer.
There are memorials on both sides of the barricaded area. Personal belongings have now been taken off the parade route. The physical injuries, the emotional ones too, all needing the love that only a grieving community can give one another.
"It's horrific. It's really sad, disheartening. I don't know what to say," said Ella Trakas, Highland Park resident.
"After watching her give so much of herself to other people for her whole career, it's just she needs our support now," Loizzi.
Here are some of the GoFundMe pages for the victims.
A second one can be found here.
A third one can be found here.
A fourth one can be found here.
A GoFundMe for the Roberts family can be found here.