The 5-year-old boy thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America last Friday is showing “real signs of recovery,” a spokesman for the family said.
Identified only as “Landen,” the boy was at the Minneapolis shopping center with his mother on April 12 when a monster “looking to kill someone” chose the youngster at random, throwing him to the ground 40 feet below.
“Our miracle child Landen is showing real signs of recovery,” family friend Noah Hanneman said in a statement on Friday. “New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead.”
Authorities nabbed Emmanuel Aranda, 24, for the heinous attack and charged him with attempted first-degree murder.
Aranda told cops he went to the mall on Thursday intending to kill an adult but when it didn’t go to plan, he returned on Friday and chose the boy instead, MPR News reported.
He was rushed to the hospital with head trauma and multiple bones and is still fighting for his life in intensive care.
The boy’s mother said they were standing outside a cafe on the mall’s third floor when Aranda, whom she’d never seen before, approached them, picked up the boy, and threw him over the railing.
Cops said Aranda pushed aside a waitress who tried to stop him and ran before they caught him on a light-rail train outside the mall.
An online fundraiser to help the boy’s family cover his medical bills has raised $890,000 by Friday afternoon. The GoFundMe page established by Hanneman describes Landen as a sweet boy who enjoys playing hockey with his brother and sister.
“Landen has a very long road to recovery ahead of him. He suffered life-threatening injuries, many people who fall from that distance aren’t as lucky to make it.
“He has many surgeries ahead in his life to try to get back to a normal life for a young, vibrant boy.”
“The family doesn’t know [Aranda] and are completely clueless as to why this monster would target their family with this heinous act of violence.”
The accused Chicago man has a history of violence. According to the Chicago Tribune, he previously attacked a man at a Golden Nugget restaurant, cracking a plate over his head and threatening him with a knife.
His bail has been set at $2 million and an omnibus hearing is set for May 14.
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