"I know there have been reports and concerns about whether he's still alive or not," Potts said. "He is still receiving care. We simply want to acknowledge that it is a horrible situation. The family and this child are in our thoughts and prayers. "
The incident occurred around 10:15 am in the southeast corner of the mall. Police said Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, picked the boy at random and threw him over the third floor balcony. Police still do not believe in the existence of a bond between the family and Aranda.
Potts said that a witness ran after Aranda while he was fleeing the scene and was trying to stop him.
"We are very grateful for his efforts to try to intervene and help," said Potts.
The security of Mall of America followed Aranda's location with the help of cameras in the mall, allowing the Bloomington police to apprehend him at the transit station of the center. commercial. He is currently incarcerated at Hennepin County Jail pending charges of attempted homicide.
Potts confirmed the presence of a video during the incident, but said it will not be made public until the investigation is complete.
The boy was rushed to the Minneapolis Children's Hospital with serious injuries. The police do not reveal his name.
Noah Hanneman created a page on Gofundme, which says to be a friend of the family. Hanneman identified the boy as "Landon" and described him as "the kindest five-year-old child you'll meet".
Hanneman said his wife and Landon's mother were longtime friends.
"Their family is always so generous to others," he wrote. "They give without expecting anything in return and are the type of family you always hope to live next door."
He reiterated that the family did not know Aranda and said that they "do not understand why this monster would target their family with this heinous act of violence"
Hanneman said that the boy suffered life-threatening injuries.
"He has many surgeries coming up in his life to try to get back to a normal life for a dynamic young boy," Hanneman wrote.
Aranda has previously been involved in incidents at the Mall of America, one of them having resulted in an arrest, Potts said. During one incident, he was accused of throwing objects from the upper level of the mall. In another, he allegedly had a drink on a woman in a restaurant in the mall.
In total, Aranda had contact with the Bloomington Police Department three times in 2015 and was arrested in other jurisdictions.
Potts said the Mall of America often gave offenders a non-violation order, with a time limit appropriate to the crime. Most orders without intrusion are in increments of six months or one year.
Aranda received a prohibition order in 2015, but it has expired. Potts thinks this most recent incident is isolated and the Mall of America remains a very safe place.
Potts said the ministry would focus on preparing his complaint for the formal charges at the Hennepin County Attorney's Office and expected that charges would be laid Monday.
He asked the public to keep the boy's family and first responders in their thoughts and prayers.
"It's a difficult case," he said. "Right away, my thoughts were," How can such a thing happen? "When it involves a young child like that, it's pretty heartbreaking for everyone."