Landen Hoffmann of Woodbury, Minnesota, suffered life-threatening injuries
Wellwishers have donated more than $300,000 to the family of a five-year-old boy who suffered life-threatening injuries when he was thrown off a third-floor balcony in the Mall of America by a stranger.
The boy, Landen Hoffmann of Woodbury, Minnesota, was tossed from the balcony on Friday and police have arrested the man they believe is responsible.
Landen’s cousin, April Hoffmann, posted a tribute to the boy on her Instagram page on Saturday.
‘Please pray for my cousins beautiful son Landen,’ she wrote.
‘A monster of a man threw him from a 3rd floor balcony at the mall, he is fighting to stay with us every second.’
Friends of the family began a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign for Landen, who is described as ‘the sweetest, kindest 5-year-old you will ever meet’.
As of late Saturday night, the campaign has raised more than $310,000 – surpassing its original goal of $250,000
‘His soul is soft and gentle and instantly brings a smile to everybody he meets,’ according to the GoFundMe page.
‘He is full of energy and life and enjoys soccer, playing with friends and family and playing hockey with his brother and sister.’
As of late Saturday night, the campaign has raised more than $310,000 – surpassing its original goal of $250,000.
Police say Landen was tossed from the balcony on Friday by 24-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, who is from the Minneapolis metro area.
Aranda was charged with attempted homicide and is currently being held at the Bloomington Police Department.
Landen Hoffmann is the five-year-old boy who was thrown off a third-floor balcony at Minnesota’s Mall of America on Friday. His cousin, April Hoffmann, posted this message on her Instagram page
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda was arrested Friday at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota
Police were called to the Mall of America in Bloomington this morning after the man, who is not thought to be of any relation, allegedly threw Landen from the balcony.
Aranda was chased down inside the mall and was taken into custody.
Witnesses say a woman at the mall was screaming hysterically after the child was thrown.
‘She was screaming “Everyone pray, everyone pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge,”‘ Brian Johnson told WCCO.
Emergency crews had rushed to help the child.
Horror: Police were called to the Mall of America in Bloomington after witnesses said a man threw the young child from the height, before trying to flee
The 24-year-old suspect was chased down inside the mall and was taken into custody
Bloomington Chief of Police Jeff Potts said police believe this to be an ‘isolated incident.’ This photo was taken from the third floor after the man was arrested)
‘Additional information from witnesses indicated the 5-year-old might have been pushed or thrown,’ Bloomington Chief of Police Jeff Potts said.
Police officers gave the child first aid along with witnesses, Potts said.
‘The child did suffer significant injuries,’ he said. ‘The child has been transported to the hospital and has been receiving care.’
According to Potts, witnesses told police the person suspected of pushing or throwing the child ‘took off running immediately after the incident.’
He’s currently at the Bloomington Police Department, Potts said, and authorities don’t believe there is any further threat to the public.
‘At this time, we do not believe that there is a relationship between the child or the family of the child,’
Police do not think there is any relationship between the man and the child or the child’s family
Police were called to the Mall of America in Bloomington after witnesses reported an man either throwing or pushing the young child from the height, before trying to flee
Potts said, emphasizing that police believe this to be an ‘isolated incident.’
‘This was a senseless act and words cannot truly express our profound shock and sadness,’ the Mall of America said in a statement on Friday.
‘Our immediate and only concern is for the wellbeing of the family and the child, as well as for any individuals who may have witnessed the incident.
‘We have counseling services available for anyone who may need assistance. We know that this is a concerning event for all of us. As the Bloomington Police Department continues to investigate how and why this isolated incident happened, we will provide our full cooperation.’
Aranda’s criminal record includes two convictions in 2015 for obstruction of the legal process/interfering with a peace officer, as well as convictions for fifth-degree assault, trespassing and damage to property.
Court records show Aranda was arrested on July 4, 2015, after police said he matched the description of a man throwing things off the upper level of the Mall of America to the lower level.
Police say Aranda refused to give his name and resisted arrest.
Aranda also was accused of walking into a mall store and sweeping his hand across a display table, breaking glasses.
In October 2015, Aranda was accused of throwing glasses in Twin Cities Grill in the mall.
The complaint says Aranda approached a woman who was waiting for the restaurant to open and asked her to buy him something.
The woman refused, and Aranda allegedly threw a glass of water in her face and a glass of tea that struck her leg.
Aranda was under a trespass notice at the time banning him from the mall until July 4, 2016.