A boy that was thrown from a Mall of America Balcony earlier this year has finally returned home, five months on. According to PEOPLE, five-year-old Landen Hoffman is now back home, having gone through multiple surgeries and inpatient rehabilitation. The youngster was visiting the mall in Minnesota this April when he was targeted by 25-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda. Hoffman was picked at random by Aranda, who threw him across the third-story balcony. The youngster sustained severe head trauma and multiple broken bones across his body as a result.
The Bloomington Police Department is investigating an incident at the Mall of America today. A five-year-old child suffered injuries and is at the hospital now. A press conference will happen outside the north entrance at 12:15 PM next to the security vehicle. Thank you— Bloomington Police (@BPD_MN) April 12, 2019
The police investigation discovered that the assailant was purposely prowling the mall that day "looking for someone to kill." His motives were supposedly linked to the rejection he felt after unsuccessfully trying to pick up women at the location. Soon after Aranda was taken into custody, he pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder and was sentenced to 19 years in prison. He told officers during questioning that he originally intended to seek an adult victim, but when he got there realized it may be more difficult to throw them over the balcony than he first thought.
Hoffman and his mother were stood by the Rainforest Cafe when Aranda spotted them and headed over. At first, mom believed that they were in his way and asked if they should move. In a devastating twist, Aranda grabbed the child and launched him over the balcony where Landon landed 40 feet below. Despite all odds, the youngster has made an amazing recovery, much to the delight of his family. However, the consequences of that day will likely leave a lasting impact on the boy and his relatives. There may be some way to go, but doctors are thrilled by his progress.
Landen's family posted the update on his progress to their GoFundMe campaign which has raised over a $1 million dollars to help with medical expenses. "We are so thankful, and we rejoice in the Lord's blessings to our family," reads the post. "We continue to ask that His healing powers guide us and our son's care team as we enter the next phase of recovery, which includes continued rehabilitation for multiple injuries and adjusting to life back at home and school."