$500,000 raised for 5-year-old who was thrown off Mall of America third-floor balcony

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — People upset over the attack on a 5-year-old boy at the Mall of America last week have offered support for his family to the tune of over a half-million dollars raised since Saturday, April 13.

Authorities said Saturday that the boy who was thrown from a Mall of America third-floor balcony Friday is fighting for his life.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Noah Hanneman, who says he is a friend of the family. Hanneman identified the boy as “Landen” and described him as “the sweetest kindest five-year-old you will ever meet.”

As of Sunday evening, April 14, the fund was over $512,000. Over 15,000 people had made pledges.

Hanneman said his wife and Landen’s mother are longtime friends.

The incident happened about 10:15 a.m. in the southeast corner of the mall. Police said Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, picked the boy at random and threw him over the balcony. Police do not believe there was any connection between the family and Aranda.

Bloomington police arrested Aranda in the mall’s transit station. He is being held at Hennepin County Jail pending charges for attempted homicide.

Police confirmed that there is video of the incident but said it will not be released until the investigation is complete.

The boy was taken to Children’s Hospital Minneapolis with serious injuries. Police are not releasing his name.

“Their family is always so generous to others,” Hanneman wrote on the Gofundme page. “They give without expecting anything in return and are the type of family you always hope to live next door.”

He said that the family did not know Aranda and said they “are completely clueless as to why this monster would target their family with this heinous act of violence.”

GoFundMe page: www.gofundme.com/Landonprayers