Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda is accused of grabbing a five-year-old boy before throwing him over the Mall of America’s third-floor railing where he fell 40ft and sustained serious injuries.
According to investigators, Aranda, 24, said he went to the Mall of America “looking for someone to kill,” the St. Cloud Times reported.
He allegedly told police that he had formulated “a plan to kill someone at the mall” the day prior the senseless and cowardly attack on the young boy, but that his homicidal idea hadn’t come to fruition, according to the criminal complaint.
The harrowing attack occurred outside the Rain Forest Café at approximately 10:15 hours, as the little boy and his mother were standing with another woman and her child, KMSP reported.
Aranda, who they had never met, suddenly approached them, grabbed the young boy, and tossed him over the railing.
He plummeted nearly 40 feet and was rushed to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis with multiple fractures to his arms and legs.
He also suffered massive head trauma, and was bleeding from his head.
The victim was listed in stable condition on Monday morning.
A bystander attempted to keep Aranda at the scene, but he managed to escape and made his way to a light rail train outside, where police took him into custody, according to KMSP.
He later confessed to having committed the violent attack on the little boy.
“He said he planned to kill an adult, because they usually stand near the balcony, but he chose the Victim instead,” court documents read, according to the St. Cloud Times. “Defendant…said that he was the one who had thrown the 5-year-old Victim from the balcony and fled.”
Mall security footage showed Aranda as he looked down over the third-floor railing multiple times prior to the attack, KMSP reported.
Aranda allegedly blamed his actions on women who had rejected his advances at the mall over the past several years, according to the St. Cloud Times.
According to investigators, Aranda claimed that he “had made efforts to talk to women in the Mall, but had been rejected, and the rejection caused him to lash out and to be aggressive,” court documents read.
He was charged with attempted first-degree premeditated murder on Monday.
The community has rallied behind the young boy in the wake of the attack, and a GoFundMe campaign raised nearly £500,000 as of this morning (18th April).
A spokesperson for the family said:
‘Landen 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 mum 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.
‘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’.
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