A GoFundMe campaign for a 5-year-old boy who was tossed over a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in Minnesota has raised over $700,000.
Landen Hoffman was with his family at the famed shopping center in Bloomington on the morning of April 12 when Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, allegedly threw him off the balcony. Hoffman dropped 39 feet and landed on the first floor, according to NBC News. He is still in critical condition, a family attorney told reporters on Tuesday.
Noah Hanneman, whose wife is close friends with Hoffman's mother, created the fundraising campaign with an initial goal of $500,000. As of this morning, the page has received more than $752,000 from nearly 22,000 donors.
"The family cannot express how grateful they are for all of the prayers, love and support that they are receiving," Hoffman wrote in an update on Monday. "His condition has very little change at this point, but we are hoping to get some good news back from some upcoming tests in the next few days."
Aranda, who had been banned from the mall before, told investigators that Hoffman was not his original target. He had planned to kill an adult the day before he attacked the boy, but it "did not work out," a criminal complaint noted. Aranda had been angry that women at the mall were rejecting his advances and admitted that he knew he was in the wrong.
Aranda has a lengthy criminal record, WCCO notes. In July 2015, he was arrested for reportedly causing damage in stores at the Mall of America and resisting arrest. The next month, he was charged with destroying computers at a Minneapolis library. In October of the same year, he was arrested a third time for throwing drinks at a woman in a restaurant after she refused to buy him food.
Court records revealed that judges had ordered Aranda to undergo mental health counseling, stay away from alcohol and drugs and take medication, the Star Tribune reports.
Aranda's mother had apparently tried to get him treatment before, his uncle told WCCO in an interview.
"My nephew, he had mental problems for a long time, for a very long time," he said. "He needed help for a really long time."
Following last Friday's incident, Aranda was charged with attempted murder. He is being held on a $2 million bond and is expected to appear in court in May.