Two weeks to the day after a Woodbury mother saw her child victimized in a horrifying attack at the Mall of America, the parents of 5-year-old Landen said the boy is now “alert and conscious” and no longer in critical condition.
“All praise, glory and honor to Jesus. He saved our son’s life and is healing him in the most miraculous ways,” the family said Friday in a statement released by their attorney, Stephen Tillitt.
“We are so elated to let you know that our son is now alert and conscious and is no longer in critical condition,” the statement continued.
“We are now turning our focus to additional surgeries, healing, rehabilitation and eventually a return home, which we hope will happen by June.”
The boy was the victim of an attack at the Bloomington mall on April 12, when a man picked up the child and threw him nearly 40 feet over a railing onto a stone floor.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, is charged with attempted first-degree premeditated murder in the attack.
He is being held in the Hennepin County jail in lieu of $2 million bail.
In court documents, police said Aranda confessed to the attack, saying he went to the mall “looking for someone to kill.”
He said he planned to kill an adult, because they usually stand near the balcony, but he chose the Victim instead,” a criminal complaint said.
Surveillance video showed Aranda walking on the third floor and looking over the balcony several times before approaching Landen and his mother, the complaint said.
Landen’s mother told police that she and her son were with a friend of hers and her friend’s child outside the Rainforest Cafe when Aranda approached them.
She said Aranda came very close to them; then, “without warning, Defendant picked up the Victim and threw him off the third floor balcony,” the complaint said.
In their statement, the family said it wished to “personally thank each and every one of you for your love, prayers and support. … Your love and generosity overwhelms and means so much to us!”
A GoFundMe page created for Landen hit the $1 million mark late Friday afternoon, with more than 28,000 donations.
“The road to recovery remains long, but with God and you, we are assured to make it through,” the family’s statement said. “Please keep praying for our son and may our loving God bless you and everyone you love.”
Earlier this week, a family pastor shared a video on Facebook in which he claimed that Landen’s grandfather had told him there was “zero evidence” of a brain injury and not even any brain swelling or serious internal injuries.
Tillitt declined to answer questions about that statement and other topics Friday, saying, “This is as much as the family has authorized me to share.
“I think you can judge from the tone of the comments that they are thrilled with what they are seeing in their son.”