Police say the 24-year-old suspect, who has now been arrested for attempted homicide, did not know the child

Mall of America main entrance. Image shot 12/2013. Exact date unknown.
Credit: Alamy

A 5-year-old boy was critically injured after being pushed or thrown by a 24-year-old man from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, on Friday, police say.

“She was screaming, ‘Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge,'” witness Brian Johnson said of the child’s mother, reports local TV station WCCO.

The child and suspect did not know each other and investigators are “actively trying to figure out why this occurred,” Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts told reporters, according to the Pioneer Press.

The 24-year-old is in custody and has been identified as Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda by Bloomington police, who confirmed he has been arrested on a charge of attempted homicide.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda
| Credit: Bloomington Police Department

Witnesses said the child landed on the first level and the suspect took off running before he was apprehended by officers who took him into custody at the transit station of the mall, police said.

Officers responded to the incident at 10:17 a.m. Friday.

A child was reportedly thrown from a balcony at the Mall of America, and one person has been taken into custody.
Officers on scene of boy’s fall inside Mall of America
| Credit: CBS Minnesota

In a statement Friday afternoon, the mall’s management acknowledged the incident.

“Earlier today, Mall of America security was notified of an incident involving a child falling from one of the upper floors. Mall Security responded immediately as well as the Bloomington Police Department. Emergency Services were notified and responded as well. The child was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital. Bloomington Police is investigating the incident,” it said.

“The child did suffer significant injuries,” said the police chief, according to CNN. “The child has been transported to the hospital and has been receiving care.”