Boy Thrown from Mall of America Balcony Still Hospitalized; GoFundMe Efforts Trending

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Witnesses said Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, pushed or threw the 5-year-old boy on Friday morning from the third-floor balcony of the mall's interior to the first floor, almost 40 feet below, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said in a news conference on Saturday, April 13.

The 5-year-old child, who was pushed or thrown off the balcony of a Mall of America in Minnesota, continues to fight for his life.

Bloomington Police Chief, Jeffrey Potts said in a presser Saturday that the boy is alive but still in the hospital.

Following the incident, witness Brian Johnson told local TV station WCCO that the child's mother "was screaming, 'Everyone pray, everyone pray".

"'She was screaming 'Everyone pray, everyone pray".

It has been reported that Landen Hoffmann from Woodbury, Minnesota, was tossed to the marble ground beneath the balcony on Friday (12 April) as his mum screamed: "Oh my God, my baby - someone threw him over the edge".

Twenty-four-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, of Minneapolis, is jailed on a suspicion of attempted homicide charge.

As to a motive, police say they don't believe the man knew the child or family, Potts said.

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"The family is looking forward to continued privacy during this hard time and we are definitely welcoming all thoughts and prayers at this point", a spokesperson for the child's family tells PEOPLE. "The child was treated at the scene and then transported by ambulance to the hospital with life threatening injuries". A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.

Potts said on Saturday there were "a lot of witnesses that were helpful" in the incident Friday.

Potts commended the Mall of America for quickly locating the suspect. "He was enjoying a day at the Mall of America with his mom 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 friend continued.

"We think this is a very isolated incident", he said.

'The child did suffer significant injuries, ' he said.

Mr Potts went on to explain how Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda has previously been arrested at the Mall of America.

"Our immediate and only concern is for the well-being of the family and the child, as well as for any individuals who may have witnessed the incident". Aranda also held previous convictions for obstruction of the legal process/interfering with a peace officer, fifth-degree assault, trespassing and damage to property.

Three months later, Aranda was accused of throwing glasses of water and tea at a woman in a restaurant at the mall for refusing to buy him food, according to the court records. Aranda was banned from the Mall of America through early July 2016, the court records show.

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