A five-year-old boy is fighting for his life after a stomach churning incident at the Mall of America.
Witnesses said 24-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda either pushed or threw the child, identified as Landen Hoffman, from a 3rd-floor balcony at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Aranda ran off after the incident, but was found inside the mall's transit station and arrested. Aranda is being held on suspicion of attempted homicide.
A single rose marks the spot where the 5-year-old landed on the first floor yesterday at Mall of America. https://t.co/HumScoXuL7— KatieSteiner (@KatieSteiner) 1555169183.0
Police Chief Jeff Potts said he could not reveal any details about the child's condition, though authorities described the boy's injuries as life-threatening.
"The child is still alive, he's still receiving care, and I think we're just asking for thoughts and prayers for that child to recover."
"[Through] our investigative work and witnesses that we've spoken to, we feel confident saying that the suspect threw the child off of the third floor. But as to why he did that, is still something we're looking into and trying to figure out."
A GoFundMe campaign has already raised close to $500,000 for Hoffman. The campaign describes his condition as "stable":
"This is Landen, he is the sweetest kindest 5 year old you will ever meet. His soul is soft and gentle and instantly brings a smile to everybody he meets. He is full of energy and life and enjoys soccer, playing with friends and family and playing hockey with his brother and sister."
"He was enjoying a day at the Mall of America with his mom and friend on Friday morning when a stranger maliciously grabbed him and threw him over the 3rd floor balcony for no apparent reason."
"The family doesn't know him and are completely clueless as to why this monster would target their family with this heinous act of violence. My wife and His mother have been best friends since they were 3 years old. They have grown up together, started their families together and truly have a lifelong friendship for the ages."
"Their family is always so generous to others, they give without expecting anything in return and are the type of family you always hope to live next door."
"Landen has a very long road to recovery ahead of him. He suffered life threatening injuries, many people who fall from that distance aren't as lucky to make it. He has many surgeries ahead in his life to try to get back to a normal life for a young, vibrant boy."
"We started this GoFundMe for their family to help cover the immense medical costs and rehabilitation costs for the long ahead. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to hear about their story."
People are shocked and disgusted by the attack.
Well wishes have poured in from around the country, including from at least one person who was at the mall when the attack took place.
You guys, I am just sick to my stomach about what happened at the Mall of America yesterday. My heart goes out to t… https://t.co/mPTcIuqblT— Chelsea DeBoer (@Chelsea DeBoer) 1555172171.0
Thought today was going to be a random ass friday. Little did I know, I was going to assisting in saving a little… https://t.co/f4NTum4v17— Raphael Delageteau 🏴 (@Raphael Delageteau 🏴) 1555123333.0
All I want to know today is how that little boy from Mall of America is doing... #PrayersForLandon— Ashlea K. Jones (@Ashlea K. Jones) 1555172422.0
Aranda has a history of mental health issues. He has also had a series of arrests and convictions related to the mall, including convictions of misdemeanors in two incidents there in 2015, according to court records obtained by CNN.
He had been banned from the premises before. Prosecutors are expected to support the charges against him by noon tomorrow.