Author: Dana Thiede
Published: 11:35 AM CDT April 19, 2019
Updated: 5:16 PM CDT April 19, 2019
MINNEAPOLIS — There is an optimistic update Friday from the family of a 5-year-old boy critically injured when a complete stranger picked him up and threw him off a third story Mall of America balcony to the ground below.
One week after the incident that changed all their lives forever the parents of the child known only as Landen released a statement through their attorney Stephen Tillitt. While brief, the update does suggest some healing is taking place.We have good news to share with you on this good Friday. Our miracle child is showing real signs of recovery. New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead. Our faith in God and our Savior Jesus remains strong and we are gaining more reason for optimism day by day. We continue our appeal for privacy as we focus on our son, and thank you for respecting our wishes. Just know that we absolutely feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support, for they seem to be working. Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts.
Tilllitt did not take questions from reporters during the teleconference, and refused to comment on whether the family was considering legal action in the wake of the incident.
Landen suffered broken bones and severe head trauma when he was thrown over the railing and plunged an estimated 39 or 40 feet to the hard floor of MOA. Prosecutors say the man suspected in the attack, 24-year-old Emmanuel Aranda, told investigators he came to the mall with a plan to kill someone, intending to take the life of an adult but choosing the 5-year-old instead. They say he was angry and aggressive because women he approached at the mall wouldn't talk to him.
Aranda is charged in Hennepin County with attempted murder.A GoFundMe account set up to help Landen’s family with medical bills has raised more than $881,000 of a $1 million goal.