Lifestyle & Human Interest

GoFundMe for Child Thrown from Mall Balcony Raises More Than $600,000


Most people today seem to believe that what you do comes back to you. However, it only takes a cursory look at the world around you to see that’s not true.

Even Jesus denied that assertion when asked about a group of worshipers martyred by an evil civil authority. He said, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered in this way?”

The answer, of course, was no, because suffering simply happens. That’s why we should do good to all people, and that’s why strangers all over the world are rallying around a horribly hurt 5-year-old boy named Landen.

According to KARE, Landen fell some 40 feel from a third-story balcony in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, on April 12. However, the boy’s plunge didn’t owe to familial neglect.

Missing 17-Year-Old Girl Found Dead After 'Devastating, Mind-Blowing' Discovery Next Door Brings Months-Long Search to an End

Instead, it happened because of the despicable actions of a man named Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda. Apropos of nothing, the 24-year-old man ran up to Landen, lifted him and threw him off of the balcony.

Shocked bystanders tried to stop him afterward, but he fled. Police later apprehended Aranda on a light-rail train.

It wasn’t the first time that Aranda had run into trouble in the Mall. In July 2015, he was arrested for throwing items from the Mall’s top floor.

Mere months later, he pelted a woman with drinks after she refused to buy him a gift. Even worse was the fact that Aranda had evidently planned his assault on Landen.

He’d staked out the area the previous day, thinking to throw an adult from the balcony, but he hadn’t found an opportunity to do so. When he saw Landen, he decided a child would do.

Why in the world would anyone do such a despicable deed to a random youngster? Aranda told police he’d planned to kill someone — anyone — because his attempts to romantically connect with women at the mall had failed.

Miraculously, Landen somehow survived the fall. WJW reported that, when police were questioned about his status, they responded, he “is still alive.”

A GoFundMe campaign begun by family friend Noah Hanneman has continued to update people about the little boy’s health. “We are all completely overwhelmed with the love and support that has come our way during this tragic time,” Hanneman wrote on April 14.

Ex-Convict Runs Into Shootout to Save Injured Officer's Life - Camera Captures It All

“The family has asked for continued privacy during this time, but we want to keep everybody updated to how Landen is doing. He had a peaceful sleep and is still continuing to fight his courageous battle, he’s a strong survivor!”

“Thank you so much everybody for your continued support through donations and prayers!” Indeed, the outpouring of fiscal support is somewhat stunning.

As of press time, the campaign had raised more than $600,000 and continued to climb. May God give more than mere financial grace to Landen and his family during this time.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, ,
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Wheaton College
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel