Boy thrown off balcony at Mall of America making ‘small steps’ toward recovery

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(WTVO) – The family of Landen Hoffmann, 5, who was thrown off a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America last Friday, says the boy is making “small steps towards the healing process.”

The family updated Landen’s condition on their GoFundMe page, which has raised $883,000.

On Friday, a family spokesman provided the following update:

We have good news to share with you all on this Good Friday! Our miracle child Landen is showing real signs or recovery. New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead. Our faith in God, and our Savior Jesus, is strong and we are gaining more reason for optimism day by day. We continue our request for privacy as we focus on Landen and thank you for respecting our wishes. Just know that we all feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support – He is answering our prayers and they ARE working. Please continue to pray for Landen and his family, every single prayer is important. Thank you so much from all of us and have a blessed Easter weekend.

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, is charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder in Friday’s attack. The child plunged almost 40 feet and is fighting for his life in a Minneapolis hospital with head trauma and multiple broken bones.

Aranda has two past convictions for assaults at the mall, both in 2015, including one in which he threw a glass of water and glass of tea at a woman who refused to buy him something. Aranda at one point was banned from the mall.

Court records show that Aranda had been ordered to undergo psychological evaluation or treatment after the earlier mall assaults.

The boy’s mother told police that Aranda came up very close to her group as they stood outside the Rainforest Cafe restaurant. She said she asked him if they were in his way and should move, and he picked up the child without warning and threw him off the balcony, according to the complaint.

Police caught Aranda on a light rail train at the mall waiting for it to leave. They said he admitted throwing the child from the balcony and said he had come to the mall a day earlier seeking to kill someone but it did not “work out.” Aranda originally said he planned to kill an adult before choosing the child instead, the complaint said.

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