Recovery of Boy Thrown off Mall of America Balcony Is 'Truly a Miracle,' Says Pastor
The doctors who’ve been treating the little boy who was thrown over a third-floor railing at Minnesota’s Mall of America on April 12 are apparently astonished by how well the child is recovering.
Mac Hammond, a pastor from the boy’s family’s church, said the child, named Landen, endured a five-hour MRI last week, which showed his injuries were not as bad as originally thought.
Hammond told his parish Sunday that one of Landen’s doctors commented that the shape the boy is in, given what happened to him, is “truly a miracle.”
According to Hammond, the medical team said Landen’s injuries were more consistent with a bicycle fall than a three-story plummet.
Landen sustained severe head trauma and multiple broken bones in his arms and legs after allegedly being thrown from the third floor of the Mall of America, allegedly by Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24.
Police have charged Aranda with suspicion of attempted premeditated first-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in prison.
It remains unclear if he’s entered a plea to that charge. His public defender, Paul Sellers, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Investigators allege Aranda went to the Mall of America intentionally “looking for someone to kill.”
Aranda allegedly 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 allegedly told police he had first considered choosing to kill an adult at the mall the day before the incident “because they usually stand near the balcony,” but that did not “work out,” the criminal complaint states.
About 10:15 a.m. the next day, 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.
Hammond told his congregation he went to sit with the family to pray ahead of the prolonged procedure.
He also said doctors were working to fix facial fractures the boy suffered in the fall.
Hammond noted the doctors found “zero evidence of brain damage…there wasn’t even swelling in the brain.”
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On Monday, Landen’s family issued a statement on his recovery through a GoFundMe page collecting donations to help them with the boy’s medical expenses.
“We have an important week ahead with more milestones to accomplish,” the statement reads. “God’s hand is working. Your prayers are working! Our son remains in intensive care, under sedation and under close monitoring as we stay patient to allow him to heal.”
The family extended thanks “for continuing to respect our family’s privacy through this unimaginable time. We remain steadfast in our faith and praise God for His miraculous work in our lives and for your love, prayers and support. Thank you so much and keep praying!”
The GoFundMe campaign is closing in on its $1 million goal.