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'Thank you for showing us there is so much good': Family of five-year-old boy thrown from Mall of America balcony say he is making 'small steps towards the healing process' as fundraiser hits $766,000

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 4/17/2019 Megan Sheets For

a person posing for the camera: Landen Hoffmann, five, is recovering from life-threatening injuries after he was thrown from a third-story balcony at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota

Landen Hoffmann, five, is recovering from life-threatening injuries after he was thrown from a third-story balcony at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

A five-year-old boy who was thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America is beginning to heal.  

Landen Hoffmann suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones when he fell nearly 40 feet and landed on the stone floor at the shopping center in Bloomington, Minnesota.  

The boy's family offered an update to his condition on his GoFundMe website on Wednesday as the campaign surpassed $766,000. 

'The power of prayer is simply amazing. We all have been extremely humbled by the outpouring of support and prayers from everyone,' the statement said.

'Thank you for showing us there is so much good not only in our community but across the globe. Condition is again similar to previous days, another peaceful night of sleep - small steps towards the healing process. Each new day is a good day. 

'Landen's recovery is expected to be ongoing for a long time, while it's hard to estimate costs, this will change everything for their family and require much of their time and focus.' 

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, was arrested and charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder for Friday's attack, according to Bloomington police.  

He appeared in court on Tuesday and his bail was set at $2million. 

Aranda allegedly told police that he went to the mall looking for someone to kill as revenge for being rejected by women there for several years.

A criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County on Monday says Landen and his mother were standing outside a restaurant when Aranda came close to them, picked up the child and tossed him over the balcony.

The complaint says Aranda told police he had been coming to the mall for several years seeking to talk to women, but had been rejected and it caused him to lash out. 

Aranda's fit of anger has had dire consequences for Landen, who is described on his GoFundMe page as 'the sweetest, kindest five-year-old you will ever meet'. 

'His soul is soft and gentle and instantly brings a smile to everybody he meets,' it says.

'He is full of energy and life and enjoys soccer, playing with friends and family and playing hockey with his brother and sister.' 

A previous update claimed that Landen had undergone surgery to remove his spleen and would need several more procedures going forward.

'During my most recent visit with Landen, holding his hand revealed a calm and warm aura in his room, one that likely is contributed from all of the immense outpouring of prayer and support from everyone across the globe,' a family member wrote on Monday.

They added that they are 'are hoping to get some good news back from some upcoming tests in the next few days'. 

The fundraising goal was initially set at $500,000 but has now been raised to $1million. 

The family set up a mailing address for supporters to send get well cards to Landen:  

Prayers for Landen

PO Box 43516

Brooklyn Park, MN 55443-4200    

Several witnesses claimed to have watched as a man walked up to Landen and his mother outside of a the Rainforest Cafe at the sprawling Mall of America and launched the child over the railing as his mother cried out. 

The mother screamed hysterically while a bystander chased Aranda down before the suspect shoved him against a wall. 

Aranda kept running until police were able to capture him on the light-rail train outside the mall. 

When he was being arrested, the suspect reportedly remained calm and did not question why police had stopped him.  

Aranda allegedly told police that he knew what he was planning to do was wrong. 

He said he came up with the idea to kill someone one day earlier and was planning to target an adult because 'they usually stand near the balcony', the criminal complaint said. 

The suspect's uncle, Francis Aranda, told KSTP that his nephew had displayed violent tendencies since childhood.  

'He has a serious mental problem, he was diagnosed as a child,' the relative said.

He added: 'We are going to pray for that baby [Landen] because what happened is so unfortunate, but it's going to bring light to mental illness, I hope he [Aranda] doesn't go to jail, he needs help.'

Bloomington Police confirmed Aranda had been banned from the mall twice before, but the most recent ban had since expired. 

Aranda's criminal record includes two convictions in 2015 for obstruction of the legal process/interfering with a peace officer, as well as convictions for fifth-degree assault, trespassing and damage to property. 

Court records show Aranda was arrested on July 4, 2015, after police said he matched the description of a man throwing things off the upper level of the Mall of America to the lower level. 

Police say Aranda refused to give his name and resisted arrest during that incident. 

He was also accused of walking into a store and sweeping his hand across a display table, breaking glasses. 

In October 2015, Aranda was accused of throwing glasses in Twin Cities Grill in the mall. 

The complaint says Aranda approached a woman who was waiting for the restaurant to open and asked her to buy him something. 

The woman refused, and Aranda allegedly threw a glass of water in her face and a glass of tea that struck her leg. 

Aranda was under a trespass notice at the time banning him from the mall until July 4, 2016. 

Police said there is also a warrant for Aranda's arrest in Illinois for assault stemming from an incident at a Chicago restaurant when he allegedly threatened to slit a employee's neck. 

According to his LinkedIn profile, Aranda has been employed as a janitor for Personnel Plus for the past two years. 

It also says he is pursuing a psychology degree at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and expects to graduate in 2022.     


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