Over a half million raised for boy thrown at Mall of America

(Bloomington, MN) – An online fundraiser created for a boy who was thrown off a third-story balcony at the Mall of America has raised over half a million dollars in just days.

The Go Fund Me page for Landen Hoffmann of Woodbury was created Saturday morning and quickly gained national attention.   As of 4 a.m. Monday, $539,398 had been raised, with more donations being made every minute.  The account will help the family pay for medical bills, according to the page.

The boy fell 40 feet after being thrown from the balcony and was rushed to Children’s Hospital where he is still receiving care.

“He 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,” said the post, which was started by the husband of Landen’s mother’s best friend.

“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 doesn’t know him and are completely clueless as to why this monster would target their family with this heinous act of violence,” said the post.

An update made to the page on Sunday said Landen is in a “peaceful sleep” and was continuing to fight.

Bloomington police identified Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda as Landen’s attacker.  Aranda was apprehended at the mall transit station shortly after the attack and remains in custody.  He’s expected to be charged Monday with attempted murder.

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