Man who tossed boy off Mall of America balcony was ‘looking for someone to kill’: prosecutors
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Man who tossed boy off Mall of America balcony was ‘looking for someone to kill’: prosecutors

The man charged with hurling a 5-year-old boy off a third-floor balcony at Minnesota’s Mall of America admitted to investigators that he went there specifically “looking for someone to kill,”  according to a criminal complaint.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis had copped that he “planned to kill an adult, because they usually stand near the balcony” when he went to the mall last week on Friday morning, but he instead set his sights on boy victim Landen Hoffman.

Aranda also admitted to police that he had frequented the Bloomington mall for several years and made efforts to talk to women at the mall, “but had been rejected, and the rejection caused him to lash out and be aggressive,” according to the complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court on Monday.

The deranged suspect “acknowledged repeatedly in his interview that he had planned and intended to kill someone at the mall that day and that he was aware that what he was doing was wrong,” the complaint said.

The victim’s mother told police that she was with her son, a friend, and her friend’s child on the third floor of the mall outside of the Rainforest Café shortly after 10 a.m. when the strange man approached them.

Aranda had come “very close to them,” so the mom “asked if they were in the way and should move,” the complaint said.

That’s when the suspect “picked up the victim and threw him” roughly 39 feet off of the balcony to the first floor before he took off running.

The boy suffered life-threatening injuries from the incident, including multiple fractured bones in his arms and legs, massive head trauma and bleeding from his head, prosecutors said.

When Aranda tried to flee the scene, a witness attempted to stop him from leaving, but Aranda pushed the person against the wall and continued running, according to prosecutors.

Police caught up with Aranda as he was waiting for a light rail train to depart at the shopping center.

As authorities took him into custody, he remained “calm” and “did not question why he was being placed under arrest.”

After being read his Miranda rights, Arnada confessed that it was he who threw the boy off the balcony.

Aranda was charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder for the heinous crime and is slated to make his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

Prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $2 million.

“This crime has shocked the community,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement, adding, “That a child, with his mother, at a safe public area like a mall, could be violently attacked for no reason is chilling for everyone.”

Authorities say Arnada, who had been previously banned from the mall, was busted by Bloomington police three times in 2015, including one time for throwing an object from the third level.

Police say he also threw water in a woman’s face at the Mall of America and has a warrant for his arrest from Illinois for assault.

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