Suspect ‘planned to kill’ in Mall of America attack on 5-year-old, police say

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, was formally charged in Hennepin County District Court with one count of attempted first-degree premeditated murder. Photo courtesy of the Bloomington, Minn., Police Department

April 15 (UPI) — A Minneapolis man accused of throwing a 5-year-old boy over the third-floor balcony at the Mall of America faces an attempted murder charge, court documents indicated Monday.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, was formally charged in Hennepin County District Court with one count of attempted first-degree premeditated murder. He was expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday.

The judge set Aranda’s bail at $2 million.

Prosecutors said Aranda grabbed 5-year-old Landen Hoffmann and threw him nearly 40 feet from the balcony onto the mall’s tile floor Friday.

First responders said Landen sustained multiple broken bones and had serious head trauma. Emergency officials transported him to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, where he was listed as critical.

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A criminal complaint said Aranda confessed to the attack.

“Defendant … said that he was the one who had thrown the 5-year-old victim from the balcony and fled,” the document said. “He said he formed a plan to kill someone at the mall” the day before.

“He said he planned to kill an adult, because they usually stand near the balcony, but he chose the victim instead.”

Police said Aranda ran away from the scene immediately after the attack, but was detained at the mall’s transit station.

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