Boy, 5, Thrown From Mall of America Balcony Is ‘Walking Perfectly,’ and Back at School

November 24, 2019 Updated: November 24, 2019

A 5-year-old boy who survived after being thrown from a third-story balcony at the Mall of America in Minnesota is walking again unaided, his family has announced.

Landen Hoffman suffered two broken arms, a broken leg, and fractures to his face and skull after Emmanuel Aranda, 24, threw him from the third floor of the mall in a random attack on April 12.

The young boy was rushed to hospital and spent months in intensive care undergoing more than 15 separate medical procedures, including surgeries for his broken arms and leg, the removal of his spleen, procedures for fluid in his lungs and stomach as well as for facial and skull fractures.

According to a GoFundMe page run by a family friend, Landen left hospital in August with a limp and uneven legs as well as an open wound on his abdomen.

However, the young boy continues to make a staggering recovery with the help of physical therapies and medications, and is now “walking perfectly”.

A statement on the GoFundMe page reads: “Landen’s Family wants you all to know how well Landen is doing since coming home in August.

“He came home with a limp and uneven legs from a two-time broken femur, an open wound on his belly we were taking care of every night, and many follow up appointments and medications. Since then he has had many physical therapies to work on his walking. Mom has been doing everything she can to speed up the healing of his wound and working toward getting off some of his medications. He is now walking PERFECTLY with even legs AMEN. The wound has finally scabbed over and new skin is growing, and we are still optimistic he will be off some of his medications soon.”

Landen has even returned to kindergarten, where his twin brother and sister also go to school, and is a “strong, happy boy,” the statement says.

“When his mommy asks him if she can look at his wound or asks how he’s doing, he always responds with ‘Mom, I’m healed, you don’t need to ask me anymore.’ Landen loves life and Jesus! He tells people all the time when they get hurt, don’t worry, I fell off a cliff, but Angels caught me and Jesus loves me, so I’m ok and you will be too!” it added.

Aranda pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder in May and was sentenced to 19 years in prison. At his trial, he did not make a statement on his behalf and offered no apology or explanation for his actions, the Star Tribune reports.

Emmanuel Aranda
Emmanuel Aranda, who threw a 5-year-old boy over a Mall of America balcony, listens as Judge Jeannice Reding hands out a 19-year sentence at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 3, 2019. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

Authorities said Aranda had gone to the mall “looking for someone to kill” because he was angry that women there had rebuffed his attempts to talk with them.

Meanwhile, the Hoffman family received overwhelming sympathy and support for their son, with their GoFundMe page raising over $1 million to help cover the cost of Landen’s medical expenses.

The family also said they have forgiven Aranda for hurting their son and said he failed to remove the joy in their lives.

“I want you to know I forgive you. Not because what you did was okay, not because I want to; but because God wants me to. I’m not letting you take any part of our family. You’re not taking our love, our joy, our peace…I refuse to be full of anger and hatred, I refuse to let you take my joy,” the mother said in a statement on GoFundMe.

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda. (Bloomington Police Department via AP)
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