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Family horrified after 'monster' throws boy from shopping centre balcony

16 April 2019
Family horrified after 'monster' throws boy from shopping centre balcony

A GoFundMe page set up for the child, named Landen, had attracted almost $600,000 in donations as of Monday.

Landen has been described as the "sweetest, kindest five-year-old you will ever meet" with a soft and gentle soul and the ability to bring a smile to everyone he meets.

As of Sunday evening, April 14, the fund was over $512,000.

Hanneman said his wife and Landen's mother are long-time friends.

The incident happened about 10:15 a.m.in the southeast corner of the mall.

A witness tried to stop him, and officers soon after apprehended and arrested the Minneapolis man in the mall's transit station. "The child did suffer significant injuries", Police Chief Potts said during the press conference.

Records show that Aranda has a history of assault and bad behavior at the Mall of America, a sprawling complex in the Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota, that hosts hundreds of retail stores, restaurants, an amusement park and aquarium and draws 40 million visitors a year.

Aranda was charged with attempted homicide and is now being held at the Bloomington Police Department. They said he admitted throwing the child from the balcony and said he had come to the mall a day earlier seeking to kill someone but it did not "work out". The child is fighting for his life in a Minneapolis hospital with head trauma and multiple broken bones. Authorities haven't released the boy's name and say his family is requesting privacy.

Noah Hanneman, a member of the fundraising team, wrote on the page: "Thank you everyone who has taken the time out of their lives to hear and support Landen's story". The family doen't know the suspect and are "completely clueless" as to why the suspect targeted the little boy, according to the GoFundMe page.

Potts said he expects to turn the case over to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office on Monday for a decision on formal charges. "I think we're just asking for your thoughts and prayers for that child to recover". He had an outstanding warrant for his arrest at the time he allegedly assaulted the boy at the Mall of America. We are grateful for the efforts of all the first responders involved - including guests and tenants - for their immediate actions and the outpouring of concern shown by so many for this young child and his family.