‘Very Little Change’ in Condition of Injured Boy, 5, Thrown From Third-Floor Mall Balcony
The 24-year-old suspect has been arrested on suspicion of attempted premeditated first-degree murder in the incident
The 5-year-old boy in critical condition after being thrown over a third-floor railing at Minnesota’s Mall of America has shown “very little change” since the Friday incident left him with massive head trauma and multiple broken bones in his arms and legs, a family friend reports.
“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,” Noah Hanneman wrote Monday night on a GoFundMe page collecting donations to help with the family’s expenses.
“His condition has very little change at this point,” Hanneman wrote, “but we are hoping to get some good news back from some upcoming tests in the next few days.”
On Monday, authorities alleged that Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, the 24-year-old suspect charged in the incident, was intentionally “looking for someone to kill” at the mall. Aranda felt driven to aggression after being rejected by women he’d tried to speak with there, according to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
Aranda is currently jailed on suspicion of attempted premeditated first-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in prison. He is due in court Tuesday. It could not be determined if he’d obtained an attorney to speak on his behalf.
“This crime has shocked the community,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Monday in a statement announcing the charge. “That a child, with his mother, at a safe public place like a mall, could be violently attacked for no reason is chilling to everyone.”
Freeman said prosecutors will seek a $2 million bond to hold Aranda in jail for now, and “would pursue a longer sentence based on the aggravating factors of particular cruelty, the vulnerability of the boy and committing the violent act in front of other children and the boy’s mother,” according to a statement from his office.
Aranda allegedly told police he had first considered choosing to kill an adult at the mall on Thursday “because they usually stand near the balcony,” but that did not “work out,” according to the criminal complaint.
About 10:15 a.m. Friday, Aranda was back at the mall, where he allegedly approached the victim and the victim’s mother as they stood outside the Rainforest Café on the third floor with another parent and child. When the victim’s mother saw Aranda, whom she had never seen before, approaching, she reportedly asked if they should move out of his way.
Then, the complaint alleges, Aranda “without warning” picked up the boy and threw him over the railing to the first floor, which Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts earlier estimated to be about 40 feet.