One of the youngest victims injured in the Highland Park shooting, 8-year-old Cooper Roberts, is in critical but stable condition in a Chicago hospital after being shot in the chest, a spokesperson said Thursday. family.
Cooper was attending the parade with his family, including his twin brother, Luke, and his mother, Keely Roberts, and suffered “serious injuries”, including a severed spinal cord, family spokesman Anthony Loizzi said during of a press conference on Thursday.
Cooper has had multiple surgeries and is currently sedated and on a ventilator at the University of Chicago Medicine’s Comer Children’s Hospital, according to Loizzi.
His mother was shot twice in the leg and foot and underwent at least two surgeries before being released from hospital, Loizzi said. When told of Cooper’s spinal cord injury after waking up from surgery, Roberts insisted that she be released from the hospital to be by Cooper’s side.
Cooper’s brother, Luke, was also injured by shrapnel and is recovering at home. Keely Roberts is the superintendent of Elementary School District 6 in Zion, Illinois, and the family lives in Highland Park.
Cooper “loves sports” and is an active baseball fan, particularly of the Milwaukee Brewers, Loizzi said. The Roberts family, which also includes four older sisters, is trying to find ways to heal and support Cooper, whose prognosis after multiple surgeries is still unclear, according to Loizzi.
“They’re devastated, but they’re focusing all their energy on Cooper,” he said. “He fights as hard as he can.”
►Lake County authorities released a photo that shows the Kel Tec SUB2000 pistol that was found inside the suspect’s vehicle after his arrest. The weapon that was used to shoot dozens of people on July 4 was a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle.
► Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said he plans to bring charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery for each person injured, physically and/or emotionally. “There will be many, many more charges to come,” he said.
PATTERN: Police say suspect bought weapons legally and dressed up to escape parade
CHRONOLOGY:How the filming of the 4th of July Parade in Highland Park went
MASS PRINT COVERAGE: Reporting and writing about such tragedies has become routine – and endless. But it doesn’t get any easier.
Here’s what we know on Thursday:
Highland Park shooting suspect’s father had ‘no idea’ of rampage plan
The father of the Highland Park parade shooting suspect said Thursday he had “no idea” his son was capable of the rampage that left seven dead and dozens injured during the July 4 celebration.
“I had no warning — not a clue — that this was going to happen,” Robert Crimo Jr. told ABC News. “I’m just shocked.”
Crimo said he never saw his son, Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, as a danger to anyone. He ignored a September 2019 incident when his son threatened to “kill everyone”, which led to police briefly confiscating 16 knives, a dagger and a sword.
“I think (it was) taken out of context,” Crimo said. “It’s like a child’s outburst, whatever upset him, and I think his sister called the police. I didn’t live there.”
Three months later, he filled out the consent form to allow his son to go and apply for a gun owner’s license with the Illinois State Police. He said he didn’t regret it, adding that his son bought the guns with his own money and registered them in his own name.
“If I had bought guns over the years and given them to him in my name, that’s a different story,” the father said. “But he went through this whole process himself.”
A lawyer for the suspect’s parents played down the couple’s involvement in the case and said they were “1000 per cent cooperative” with investigators. Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said he “doesn’t want to answer” the question at this time about whether the parents will face charges.
GoFundMe for orphaned child nears $3 million
Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has donated $18,000 to a GoFundMe page for Aiden McCarthy, the 2-year-old boy whose parents – Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35 – were killed during the parade shootout. The community fundraiser for the toddler was approaching $3 million early Thursday. Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, made the donation under the name “William Ackman”, his office confirmed to Fortune and Insider. His office did not immediately respond to a request from USA TODAY.
“Aiden will be cared for by his loving family and he will have a long way to go to heal, to find stability,” Irina Colon wrote on a GoFundMe page. Learn more here.
– Scott Gleeson
First funeral set for Friday
The first funerals for those killed in the shooting are scheduled for Friday. A memorial service for Jacquelyn “Jacki” Sundheim, 63, will be held Friday morning, followed by a shiva at North Shore Congregation Israel where she was a devoted congregant and staff member, according to her obituary. Chicago financial adviser Stephen Strauss, 88, will also be laid to rest Friday afternoon at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, according to an online obituary. Relatives of Eduardo Uvaldo will travel from Texas and Mexico to attend his funeral on Friday on what would have been his 70th birthday, The New York Times reported.
– N’dea Yancey-Bragg
The lawyer for the shooter’s parents had spoken out on Twitter after the shooting
Hours after the shooting, attorney Steve Greenberg posted a tweet saying Highland Park was “where I grew up and raised my kids. WTF is wrong with people. No one needs these guns great power!!!!! F @tedcruz, Mitch McConnell and all like them”
Two days later, Greenberg was working for the suspect’s parents and his tweets reflected more empathy. The parents, Robert Crimo Jr. and his wife, Denise, ‘share everyone’s desire to understand everything that went wrong so that it never happens again, to more innocent people, children and families’ , wrote Greenberg.
Greenberg acknowledged that Crimo Jr. helped the suspect obtain a gun owner’s license in 2019, but pointed out that state police renewed the gun card when he was 21. The “bigger question,” Greenberg wrote, is why military-grade assault weapons are available to anyone. purchase. Greenberg also released a statement on behalf of the parents saying “our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to everyone.”
The discovery of a rifle was key to the suspect’s capture
In the chaotic moments after the shooting stopped, the shooter initially evaded capture by dressing in women’s clothing and blending into the panicked crowd, the Lake spokesperson said. County Major Crime Task Force, Christopher Covelli. Surveillance video showed someone running with a black bag over their shoulder immediately after the shooting, Lake Count Assistant State Attorney Ben Dillon said. As the individual was running, a cloth-wrapped object fell onto the sidewalk. Authorities identified the object as a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle, Dillon said. A round was in the chamber, but there was no magazine inserted.
Authorities traced the gun left at the scene to the suspect, he said, and within hours released his photo with the warning that he may be armed and dangerous.
A neighbor later saw him in the vehicle and called 911. Hours after the shooting, a police officer stopped Crimo a few miles north of the shooting site and he was arrested without incident, Covelli said.
Mass shootings tend to get younger. Experts have an idea why.
Some do it out of a perverse desire to make a difference in the world. Others are driven by mental illness, pandemic isolation, or social media influences that turn them into hateful, sadistic monsters. But there is one growing commonality among American mass shooters: their youth.
“They tend to be younger. The “why,” of course, will take a bit more research,” said Katherine Schweit, a former FBI agent who until 2017 ran the office’s Active Shooter program. they’re clamoring for attention – going through the stress of the pandemic and being indoctrinated online and, you know, striving to be famous. Learn more here.
– Josh Meyer, USA TODAY
4 members of the same family injured in parade carnage
Zoe Kolpack was standing with her family on Monday morning along the parade route in Highland Park when she heard the first shot. Then a bullet shattered the 28-year-old woman’s femur.
Her father tried to protect her with his body and was also beaten. Amid the chaos, her husband and brother-in-law were also hit by bullets. All were recovering from their injuries.
The heartbreaking story of one family was told by family friend Samantha Whitehead, 28, in an interview with USA TODAY as she sat next to Zoe Kolpack in her hospital room.
“It was awful,” Whitehead told USA TODAY. “Horrible.” Learn more here.
– N’dea Yancey-Bragg
Contribute: The Associated Press
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