Boy injured in Mall of America fall is ‘showing real signs of recovery’

Posted at 3:18 PM, Apr 20, 2019

The family of a 5-year old boy who was thrown off a third-floor balcony by a man at the Mall of America last Friday say their son is “showing real signs of recovery,” despite remaining in intensive care for over a week.

“We have good news to share with you on this good Friday. Our miracle child is showing real signs of recovery. New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead,” attorney Stephen Tillitt said in a statement on behalf of the boy’s family. “Our faith in God and our Savior Jesus remains strong and we are gaining more reason for optimism day by day. We continue our appeal for privacy as we focus on our son, and thank you for respecting our wishes. Just know that we absolutely feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support, for they seem to be working. Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts.”

According to authorities, suspect Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, flung the boy over a railing, dropping him nearly 40 feet, after choosing him at random because he was “looking to kill someone” at the mall.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda. Bloomington Police Department

He said he had planned to kill an adult standing near the railing, but picked the young victim instead, according to the criminal complaint.

The boy, identified as Landon, suffered severe head trauma and several broken bones as a result of the intense fall.

Witnesses told officers Aranda took off running after either pushing or throwing the child, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said.

Potts said that a witness tried to stop him from fleeing and that officers then “quickly” found him in the mall and took him into custody.

Aranda told police that he began to “lash out” after being frequently rejected by women he tried to talk to at the mall, according to the complaint.

Aranda was charged with attempted murder last week and remains in custody on a $2 million bond.

Online donations totaling nearly $1 million have been raised towards the boy’s medical expenses.