BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – A 5-year-old boy who was thrown from a Mall of America third-floor balcony and survived is “walking perfectly” and could be off his medication soon.

Landen Hoffman was hospitalized with two broken arms, a broken leg and fractures to his face and skull when Emmanuel Aranda, 24, tossed him about 40 feet during a random attack at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. on April 12.

He was forced to undergo 15 separate medical procedures and surgeries due to the injuries and “severe complications.” He returned home months later.

Now, Hoffman said to be enjoying life and is going to kindergarten with his twin brother and sister.

Child survives throw from 3rd story balcony: "Angels caught me"

Landen Hoffman is recovering and has returned to school after the horrific attack.


An update by Landen’s mother on Facebook explained his current status.

“He gets out of the car every morning happy and blows kisses all the way in! He’s a strong, happy boy,” the post said. “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!”

It continued: “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!”

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda was charged with attempted homicide after throwing the 5-year-old boy approximately 40 feet from a third-floor balcony.

Aranda was sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder in early June. He told investigators he decided to hurt the child after going to the mall looking for someone to kill.

Child survives throw from 3rd story balcony: "Angels caught me"

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda is now behind bars for the attack.


The man said he had been rejected by women for years, which caused him to “lash out and be aggressive.”

Prior to this incident, Aranda was noted to have a string of arrests and convictions for misdemeanor offenses. 

In 2015, a trespass notice was issued against Aranda by the Mall of America but ignored the order in October of that year and was arrested for panhandling and harassing two women in a mall restaurant. 

According to his arrest records, he was ordered to stay away from the mall on two occasions, and also from the Minneapolis Library where he was charged with smashing several computers – he told police that he read something on Facebook while at the library that made him angry and decided to destroy five computers.

In separate situations, he had been charged with 5th-degree assault, trespass, and interfering with a police officer.

Child survives throw from 3rd story balcony: "Angels caught me"

The incident took place at the Mall of America in Minnesota. (Flickr)


He had been charged at least 6 times with riding public transportation without paying, and at the time of the incident involving Landen Hoffman had an active arrest warrant for assault.  He was intent on “looking for someone to kill” that day at the mall and searched for someone standing close to the guardrail of the highest floor.

News reports noted that Aranda is Somali Muslim and Landen Hoffman is white and has blonde hair. It is unclear if Aranda’s choice of victim played a large role in his motive, but there is strong hostility in the Minneapolis area between Somali Muslims and Native Minnesota residents. 

Over 80,000 Somali Muslims have relocated to the greater Minneapolis area, causing huge issues for police and police administrations, not helped by weak support from the city’s mayor.  US Representative Ilhan Omar (D – MN) has been a very controversial voice in the area, often bringing national-level drama to the area.

But Omar may run into some issues when looking to get re-elected.

Chris Kelley is a decorated veteran with the United States Army. He’s been police officer in Minneapolis for 20 years. And now, he’s bringing his expertise from a life of service to the political world.

Kelley recently announced that he would be running as an Independent to challenge Representative Ilhan Omar for her seat in Congress.

Child survives throw from 3rd story balcony: "Angels caught me"

Chris Kelley served the military for 27 years and as a police officer for 20. Now he’s bringing the voice of defenders back to the public. (Facebook)


He said that for him, it’s all about continuing to serve others.

“I’m passionate about service and I just want to be able to continue that,” Kelley said in an interview with Fox News.

So what exactly prompted the veteran police officer to decide to run against Omar?

He said that it was her comments about 9/11 that pushed him to throw his name in the ring.

According to Kelley, “some people did something” just didn’t feel right. He thinks that leaders of our country need to have a greater appreciation for those so willing to lay down their life in order to protect and defend others.

“It was very dismissive and disrespectful,” Kelley said. “September 11 was a terrible loss of life, not just for police officers and firefighters and other first responders, but 3,000 people and non-combatants died, and to be dismissive of that was an outrage.”

Child survives throw from 3rd story balcony: "Angels caught me"

Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (Flickr)


He said that Rep. Omar seems to be more concerned about her ‘celebrity status’ than actually doing things for her district, though he did say that he didn’t want his campaign to be a negative political smear against the current representative. 

“I won’t be bringing in controversy and scandal. I will be bringing firsthand knowledge of the things that I know are going on in the community as an officer. I see a lot every day — the homelessness, the opioid crisis; I want to bring these things to the forefront and put some ideas on the table on how to deal with them,” said Kelley.

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Child survives throw from 3rd story balcony: "Angels caught me"


The combat vet and first responder said that he’s not looking to bolster his reputation – but simply help the people within his district. 

“As former military, I am here to serve and not further my status. I want to do a good job for the people I represent and I don’t have a personal agenda,” Kelley said on Friday. “I want to do anything I can to make people’s lives better; I just want to sit and listen to people and make some positive change.”

In his laundry list of accomplishments, Kelley is recognized for giving more than 20 years to the Minneapolis Police Department, as well as two deployments to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and once during Desert Storm. 

Additionally, the Post reported that Kelley earned a Master’s degree in criminal justice leadership from Concordia University in St. Paul.


He knows he faces an uphill battle after Omar secured more than 75 percent of the vote in 2018, but he’s committed to helping the American people create real resolutions to our problems.  

One of the issues he feels strongly about is immigration, saying that the government has not done enough to fund CBP and DHS. Kelley says by not providing them with support and proper funding, those public servants have come under attack by Omar and others for conditions at the border.

“There’s not a cop or anybody in law enforcement who wants to see anybody suffer. We do need secure borders. You don’t have a country without a border, and allowing anybody to walk in is ridiculous,” he told the Duluth News Tribune.

According to Kelley, he wants to create a better pathway for those looking to come to the United States for circumstances outside of their control.

“We have a lot of good people coming in that will help the country,” he said.

Want to learn more about Chris’s campaign? Visit his website right here.


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