The five-year-old boy who was allegedly thrown from a Mall of America balcony earlier this month, has ‘zero evidence of brain damage’, according to his family’s pastor.
Landen Hoffmann suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones when he fell nearly 40 feet and landed on the stone floor at the shopping center in Bloomington, Minnesota.
In a short statement released Tuesday, Pastor Mac Hammond said the boy remains under sedation.
Hammond said during his Easter service that Landen’s grandfather informed him that there was no evidence the child had a brain injury.
Landen had undergone a five-hour MRI before the good news was delivered.
The pastor called the child’s recovery ‘truly a miracle’.
Hammond also said Landen did not suffer from swelling in the brain, spinal cord injuries, nerve damage or life-threatening internal injuries.
The family, which has asked for privacy, says Landen ‘has an important week ahead with more milestones to accomplish’ and that the public’s ‘prayers are working’.
R. Stephen Tillitt, an attorney for the boy’s family, says he could not confirm or deny Hammond’s description because it would invade the family’s privacy.
Emmanuel Aranda, 24, was arrested and charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder for the alleged attack, according to Bloomington police.
Last week, Landen’s family revealed that their son is showing ‘real signs of recovery’.
‘New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead,’ family friend Noah Hanneman said last Friday on a GoFundMe that has since raised just more than $960,000 since it was created on Saturday.
The update continued: ‘We continue our request for privacy as we focus on Landen and thank you for respecting our wishes. Just know that we all feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support – He is answering our prayers and they ARE working.
Please continue to pray for Landen and his family, every single prayer is important. Thank you so much from all of us and have a blessed Easter weekend.’
Aranda, 24, last Tuesday and his bail was set at $2million. Aranda allegedly told police that he went to the mall looking for someone to kill as revenge for being rejected by women there for several years.
A criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County on Monday says Landen and his mother were standing outside a restaurant when Aranda came close to them, picked up the child and tossed him over the balcony.
The complaint says Aranda told police he had been coming to the mall for several years seeking to talk to women, but had been rejected and it caused him to lash out.
Aranda’s fit of anger has had dire consequences for Landen, who is described on his GoFundMe page as ‘the sweetest, kindest five-year-old you will ever meet’.
Several witnesses claimed to have watched as Aranda walked up to Landen and his mother outside of the Rainforest Cafe at the sprawling Mall of America and launched the child over the railing as his mother cried out.
The mother screamed hysterically while a bystander chased Aranda down before the suspect shoved him against a wall.
Aranda kept running until police were able to capture him on the light-rail train outside the mall.
When he was being arrested, the suspect reportedly remained calm and did not question why police had stopped him.
Aranda allegedly told police that he knew what he was planning to do was wrong.
He said he came up with the idea to kill someone one day earlier and was planning to target an adult because ‘they usually stand near the balcony’, the criminal complaint said.
The suspect’s uncle, Francis Aranda, told KSTP that his nephew had displayed violent tendencies since childhood.
‘He has a serious mental problem, he was diagnosed as a child,’ the relative said.
He added: ‘We are going to pray for that baby [Landen] because what happened is so unfortunate, but it’s going to bring light to mental illness, I hope he [Aranda] doesn’t go to jail, he needs help.’
Bloomington Police confirmed Aranda had been banned from the mall twice before, but the most recent ban had since expired.
Aranda’s criminal record includes two convictions in 2015 for obstruction of the legal process/interfering with a peace officer, as well as convictions for fifth-degree assault, trespassing and damage to property.
Court records show Aranda was arrested on July 4, 2015, after police said he matched the description of a man throwing things off the upper level of the Mall of America to the lower level.
Police say Aranda refused to give his name and resisted arrest during that incident.