The 24-year-old suspect has been arrested on suspicion of attempted premeditated first-degree murder in the incident

By Jeff Truesdell
April 16, 2019 11:52 AM

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.”

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda
Bloomington Police Department

 

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.

RELATED: Mall of America Suspect Was Allegedly ‘Looking to Kill’ Because Women Rejected Him 

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.

Alamy

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.

RELATED: Man Throws Boy, 5, From 3rd Floor Balcony at Mall of America, Critically Injuring Him

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.

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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The suspect then took off running, pushing another witness who tried to stop him against a wall. He continued to run until police caught him on the light-rail train outside of the mall.

Aranda told police “he had been coming to the mall for several years and had made efforts to talk to women in the mall, but had been rejected, and the rejection caused him to lash out and be aggressive,” states the criminal complaint. He “acknowledged repeatedly in his interview that he had planned and intended to kill someone at the mall that day and that he was aware that what he was doing was wrong,” it adds.

At a news conference on Saturday, Potts declined to speculate on the suspect’s mental health history but noted that in the suspect’s prior brushes with law enforcement, “it looks like some of those cases were handled through the mental health court.”

RELATED: Man Charged with Throwing Boy, 5, From Mall of America Balcony Had Previously Been Banned for a Year 

In July 2015, Aranda was taken into custody after police responded to a call about a man “throwing things off of the upper level of the mall to the lower level,” according to local TV station WCCO, which cited a 2015 complaint stating Aranda initially resisted arrest and refused to give his name to police.

Court records obtained by PEOPLE show that Aranda was convicted of fifth-degree assault and interfering with an officer of the peace, and was ordered not to return to the property for one year.

The injured boy’s family “cannot express how grateful they are for all of the prayers, love and support that they are receiving,” according to the GoFundMe page. “There truly aren’t enough words!”

Hanneman wrote: “Please continue to keep Landen in your thoughts and prayers, together we can all come together to help heal Landen!”

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