During a Saturday in Paterson, NJ, Mr. Cooper heard gunfire around him. As a result, Mr. Cooper began running for his life. While running away from the gunshots, a police officer, officer Moravek saw Mr. Cooper running and started chasing him. Officer Moravek was convinced Mr. Cooper was holding a gun, which he wasn’t, and started firing without warning. The projectile penetrated Mr. Cooper’s lower back before ripping through his organs and coming to rest near a vertebra that controls lower-body movement. By morning, Mr. Cooper had lost a kidney, half his colon and his ability to ever walk again.
Mr Cooper know worries about his inability to help when his daughters crying and the mild humiliations that define his day-to-day existence. He cannot hoist himself out of his wheelchair into bed without help, and his girlfriend, who gave birth to their daughter a week after the shooting, now must change his diaper, too. “There have been times when I just couldn’t take it, and I was, like, ‘I just want to die,’” he said.