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Boy thrown from Mall of America balcony ‘showing real signs of recovery’

A concourse area at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., is seen March 16, 2019. Rob Beer / Forum News Service

Landen, the 5-year-old boy thrown about 40 feet from a Mall of America third-floor balcony last week, is “showing real signs of recovery,” according to an update posted Friday afternoon, April 19, on a GoFundMe page.

“We have good news to share with you all on this Good Friday!” the GoFundMe update read. “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.”

The child suffered severe head trauma and multiple broke bones, including his arms and legs, in the April 12 attack by a complete stranger. The incident at the Bloomington mall has received national attention with many expressing their outrage on social media and offering prayers and support for the family.

The family, who has asked for privacy and declined to be interviewed, is “gaining more reason for optimism day by day.” They thanked the public for their support.

“Just know that we all feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support — He is answering our prayers and they ARE working,” it read. “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.”

The GoFundMe page, which was set up by a family friend, has raised nearly $900,000 in seven days for the boy’s medical expenses. The goal is set at $1 million.

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis was charged Monday with attempted premeditated first-degree murder. He remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail.

Aranda told police he had gone to the mall on the day before the attack intending to kill an adult, but that it did not “work out,” court documents say. He returned Friday and chose the boy instead.

Aranda said he’d been going to the mall for years, had tried to speak to women there and they had rejected him. He said that rejection made him lash out and act aggressively.

In 2015, Aranda was temporarily trespassed from the mall for throwing water in a woman’s face and destroying property.

If Aranda is convicted of the most-recent charges, prosecutors intend to pursue a longer sentence based on the aggravating factors of particular cruelty, the vulnerability of the boy and committing the violent act in front of other children and the boy’s mother.

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