The story of what happened in the Mall of America on Friday is horrifying. A man at the Mall of American in Minnesota apparently threw a 5-year-old boy over the third floor railing, and so far no one knows why. Police say the suspect, Emmanuel Aranda, 24, is cooperating.
WCCO-TV in Minnesota reported a witness heard the boy’s mother shouting “Everybody pray, everybody pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge.”
The child, Landen Hoffmann of Woodbury, Minnesota, fell over forty feet and suffered significant injuries, according to authorities.
The family posted about the terrible incident on social media, and a GoFundMe was started to raise money for the family during this horrific time of need. It was started by friends of the family after Landen’s cousin April Hoffmann, posted an Instagram tribute.
“This is Landen, he is the sweetest kindest 5 year old you will ever meet. His soul is soft and gentle and instantly brings a smile to everybody he meets,” the fundraiser reads. “He is full of energy and life and enjoys soccer, playing with friends and family and playing hockey with his brother and sister.”
It relates the family’s story. “He was enjoying a day at the Mall of America with his mom and friend on Friday morning when a stranger maliciously grabbed him and threw him over the 3rd floor balcony for no apparent reason. The family doesn’t know him and are completely clueless as to why this monster would target their family with this heinous act of violence.”
The fundraiser was over $400,000 by Sunday morning.
In the press conference about the incident, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said Landen is “receiving care. I think we’re just asking for your thoughts and prayers for that child to recover.”
The suspect has been charged with attempted homicide. Police credited a concerned bystander for chasing the suspect, and the Mall security for tracking him to the transportation station where he was apprehended.