Bloomington, Minnesota: A 5-year-old boy was standing outside of the Rainforest Cafe restaurant at Mall of America with his mom when a stranger “looking for someone to kill” threw him off of a third-floor balcony, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.
The boy fell nearly 40 feet after the Friday attack, and suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones. He is fighting for his life at a Minneapolis hospital.
“His condition has very little change at this point, but we are hoping to get some good news back from some upcoming tests,” family friend Noah Hanneman shared in an update posted to a GoFundMe page Monday night.
The fundraising page set up for the family, which is requesting privacy, has raised more than $670,000 as of Tuesday morning.
“He is the sweetest, kindest 5-year-old you will ever meet,” Hanneman said.
Emmanuel Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, is charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder. He said he was angry after being rejected by women at the mall and was “looking for someone to kill,” the complaint said.
Bloomington police Chief Jeffrey Potts described the scene as “gut-wrenching.”
Aranda had been banned from the mall – but the ban was not in effect at the time of the incident. He has a history of misdemeanor convictions; some cases were handled through a mental health court, Potts said.
He was arrested at the mall in 2015 and faced three charges after he threw an object off the mall’s third level and became uncooperative with police, Potts said.
Monday’s complaint said Aranda had become aggressive after “coming to the mall for several years and had made efforts to talk to women in the mall, but had been rejected.”
He said he had come to the mall a day earlier looking to kill someone, but it didn’t “work out.” Aranda said he planned to kill an adult but then changed his mind and grabbed the boy.