For camera-ready pictures
of Kristie, click here.


Chris Cooper, 17,
an avid and gifted skateboarder

Chris' Mom, Cheryl, writes:

"We were blessed on May 19, 1990
with the birth of our beloved son, Christopher Eric Cooper. Chris was a joy and a light in our lives. We have lost
that which gave our lives purpose
and meaning."

My precious son

MISSOURI — I am writing to tell you about my beloved son Chris. He was hit and killed by Wilfredo Pujols during a police pursuit on November 8, 2007. Chris was 17 years old. His murder has created a pit of darkness and despair in our lives. The police officer pursuing Pujols did not stop even when he knew someone was injured. The police who arrived at the scene did not even come over to my son and see if he was alive (which he was, he died an hour later at the hospital). I am filled with a rage I never knew existed. I have such anger that a chase such as this even happened. There were three deaths from pursuits in Independence in EIGHT DAYS, two in 24 hours, one of those my precious son. I want to put pressure on the Independence Police Department to change their policy.They have stated since then that they absolutely will not change their policy. I want to do something about this, but don't know where to start. Although I place blame on Wilfredo Pujols who murdered my son, I also believe the blatant disregard of the police in this town contributed to my son's death. I'm not really sure what I'm asking, but thank you for providing me a place to say what I needed to say. RIP our sweet angels.

Special Tribute to Chris on MySpace.

News Stories

EXCLUSIVE: Suit Accuses Police of Negligence
Breaking News from NBC: While innocent bystander Chris Cooper bled,
Officer Anthony Smith's dash cam captured police laughing and someone saying,
"They're like roaches, man. They don't die."

Teen Victim's Parents Demand Change
Nov 29, 2007 ... John and Cheryl Cooper spoke with KCTV5 News
about the police chase that ended their son's life on Nov. 8. Chris Cooper was riding his bike ...

Teen On Bike Killed During Police Chase
kmbctv
November 9, 2007

Friends remember Chris

Chris Cooper died Thursday night after being struck while riding his bicycle by a motorist fleeing police officers. Cooper did not die at the scene, as previously reported. He was transported to an area hospital where he later died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Teen remembered for his smile, ability to make friends

A riderless skateboard, pictures and dozens of candles were at the center of a vigil Friday for the teen killed during an Independence Police Department chase.

"Everything is kind of overwhelming right now. And someone asked me, and all day, how do you feel? I don't know," Chris' brother Ryan Steeley said illuminated by candles. My brother was killed, he was 17 years old,"

Friends remembered "Coop" as a skater with a smile and for his ability to forge fast friendships.

"Just seeing all the people throughout here just proves how much of a good person he is," one student recalled fighting back tears. "That he has this many people coming to say goodbye."


Pujols' Cousin Charged With Murder
November 10, 2007

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The cousin of St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols was in custody Friday night facing murder charges.

Police took two men into custody Thursday night in connection with the death of Chris Cooper, 17. Police said they chased the pair after they rammed a car on 39th and Lee's Summit Road and sped off.

Wilfredo J. Pujols Jr., the driver of the car, was charged with second degree felony murder, resisting arrest, leaving the scene of an accident and driving while intoxicated. Pujols blood alcohol level was 0.97.

The Cooper family was too distraught to talk so their attorney spoke on their behalf.

"They wanted everyone to know their son Chris lived a full life, was a champion of the underdog and loved all of his friends," attorney Sean Pickett said.

Prosecutors have requested a $500,000 cash only bond on Pujols. The vehicle's second occupant has not been charged.

 


More news stories on this chase are right here.

 
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