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Family says boy thrown from Mall of America balcony remains sedated, does not confirm 'zero brain damage' message from pastor

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

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — The family of the 5-year-old boy thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America on April 12 said he remained in intensive care and under sedation Tuesday, April 23.

“We have an important week ahead with more milestones to accomplish,” attorney Stephen Tillitt said via conference call. He read from a prepared statement written by the family.

“God’s hand is working. Your prayers are working. Our son remains in intensive care, under sedation and under close monitoring as we stay patient to allow him to heal,” Tillitt said.

The statement came after the pastor of the church the boy’s grandparents attend spoke at length Easter Sunday about the boy’s condition in the wake of his 40-foot fall at the Bloomington mall.

Mac Hammond, pastor of the Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, told his congregation that the boy, whom he identified as Landen, had no evidence of brain damage, spinal cord injury, nerve damage or life-threatening internal injuries.

Official reports said the boy suffered multiple fractured bones, including his arms and legs, and had severe head trauma.

Tillitt would not confirm Hammond’s statement nor comment on the milestones accomplished. He did clarify the statement Hammond made quoting a physician saying, “It’s like he fell off a bicycle instead of the third floor of a mall.” Tillitt said that the statement was made, but it was in reference to the boy’s facial injuries.

“Once we start talking about details and specifics, it just opens things up,” he said. “That’s why the family is really, on an official basis, not offering any details. This is a young child whose health is becoming public. We’re doing what we can to protect him and the family.”

Tillitt would not confirm if the family had authorized Hammond’s statement but said he had no indication that the family was upset about the comments.

The family has declined any interviews.

“Thank you for continuing to respect our family’s privacy through this unimaginable time,” the statement read. “We remain steadfast in our faith and praise God for His miraculous work in our lives and for your love, prayers and support. Thank you so much and keep praying!”

On Tuesday, the GoFundMe site set up to raise money for the boy’s medical expenses was inching closer to its $1 million goal.

A 24-year-old Minneapolis man, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, has been charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder for the attack. Aranda told police he was angry at being rejected by women at the Mall of America and was “looking for someone to kill.”