Mall of America incident: 5-year-old victim 'showing real signs of recovery'

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The 5-year-old boy thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America last week remains hospitalized in intensive care but is "showing real signs of recovery."

In a statement posted to GoFundMe Friday, a spokesperson representing the boy's family said he has "a long road ahead" but recent test results have been positive.

"Our faith in God and our Savior Jesus is strong and we are gaining more reason for optimism day by day. We continue our request for privacy as we focus on Landen and thank you for respecting our wishes," the statement continued.

"Just know that we all feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support - He is answering our prayers and they ARE working. 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 family concluded.

The child, publicly identified by his family only as Landen, plunged almost 40 feet and is fighting for his life in a Minneapolis hospital with head trauma and multiple broken bones. In the time since the April 12 attack, that GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $900,000 from more than 25,000 donors to offset the cost of the boy's medical treatment.

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A man accused of throwing a 5-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America said little Tuesday during his first court appearance.

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, has been charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder. Police say Aranda told them he went to the mall "looking for someone to kill" and chose the boy at random.

Aranda's bail has been set at $2 million and an omnibus hearing is set for May 14. Paul Sellers, the public defender appointed to represent Aranda, said his client has been in mental health court before.

Aranda has two past convictions for assaults at the mall, both in 2015, and was banned from the mall at one point. Court records show that Aranda had been ordered to undergo psychological evaluation or treatment after those assaults.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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