Boy thrown from Mall of America balcony is back in school and walking, family says

Posted at 10:37 AM, Nov 25, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The 5-year-old boy thrown off a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in Minnesota has improved so much he's walking "perfectly" and attending school, according to a post on his family-run GoFundMe account .

"He loves being back to school and going to kindergarten at the same school his twin brother and sister go to," the family wrote Friday. "He gets out of the car every morning happy and blows kisses all the way in! He's a strong, happy boy. When his mommy asks him if she can look at his wound or asks how he's doing, he always responds with 'Mom, I'm healed, you don't need to ask me anymore.'"

The boy, identified only as Landen, came home from the hospital in August with a limp, uneven legs from a broken femur and an open wound on the belly, the family wrote. Since then, he's undergone extensive physical therapy.

"He is now walking PERFECTLY with even legs AMEN," the family wrote. "The wound has finally scabbed over and new skin is growing, and we are still optimistic he will be off some of his medications soon."

Plan to kill an adult didn't 'work out'

The man who threw the boy was Emmanuel Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis. Aranda pleaded guilty in May to attempted premeditated first-degree murder. A judge sentenced him to 19 years in prison in June.

According to a criminal complaint, the boy and his mother were on the third-floor balcony at the mall April 12 when Aranda came up close to them. The mother had never seen Aranda before, and she asked if she and her son should move. Instead, Aranda picked up the boy and threw him over the railing, the complaint states.

Aranda told police he had come to the mall a day earlier intending to kill an adult, but that did not "work out," according to the complaint. He returned and apparently chose the boy instead.

Aranda told police he knew what he was planning to do was wrong. He explained he had visited the mall for years, trying to speak to women there, but they rejected him. Aranda said that made him lash out.