The Mall of America was only open 17 minutes Friday morning when screaming began.
On the first floor, between an escalator and the Michael Kors store, was a five-year-old boy. He had been thrown three floors higher – by a stranger, says the police. There was blood; the boy did not move.
The mother of the child asked everyone to pray, witnesses said, and security guards, clients, and police started to practice CPR. The young man was rushed to hospital with "serious injuries" from the 20-meter drop, according to authorities, and was still being treated 24 hours later.
"It's a beautiful fall," Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts told a press conference Saturday describing the scene and its reaction. "Immediately, my thoughts were: How can such a thing happen?"
Potts called the situation "horrible" and said the department kept the boy and his family in their "thoughts and prayers". Because the family asked for confidentiality, the authorities still do not reveal the boy's name. Potts did not give details of his condition.
"The child is still alive and receiving care," he said.
The suspect, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, aged 24, first fled on foot, authorities said. A witness attempted to arrest him and, shortly thereafter, agents arrested and arrested the Minneapolis man in the transit station of the mall. Aranda faces a preliminary charge of attempted homicide and is currently being held at Hennepin County Jail.
"I just hope this little guy is fine," says Michael Baumann said the local television channel ABC 5. "I just asked you. . . how can we do that?
The archives show that Aranda has a history of assault and misbehavior at the Mall of America, a sprawling complex in the suburbs of Twin Cities in Bloomington, Minnesota, home to hundreds of shops, restaurants, amusement parks and aquariums. visitors per year.
Aranda has been banned from the mall in recent years, although authorities said the intrusion packages had expired since the Friday incident.
In July 2015, he was arrested at the Mall of America on three charges (property damage, disorderly conduct and interference in a peace officer), after the police reported that Aranda had thrown objects from the upper level of the mall to the lower level. He had also placed his hand on a Bare Minerals beauty shop table, smashing lipstick containers and shot glasses, police said.
Aranda was banned from the mall for a year.
A month later, in August 2015, Aranda told authorities that he was suffering from "anger issues" when he was arrested for serious material damage to the public library. Aranda broke five "irreparable" computers and keyboards after reading something on Facebook that made him furious, the man told authorities.
Then, in October 2015, Aranda returned to the Mall of America – in violation of his order to ban visitation rights – and harassed and assaulted a woman inside a restaurant. , according to the archives.
Aranda asked the woman to buy him something while they were sitting in front of the restaurant, waiting for it to open. The woman laughed at the request, the recordings show, and sat down inside. Aranda followed her inside, sat down at the table next to her and continued her campaign. When management intervened, Aranda became furious. He threw a glass of water on the woman's face, then a glass of tea in her leg, breaking the cup.
He was arrested on six counts.
At the press conference on Saturday, Potts said his police department had another meeting with Aranda, during which he refused to pay his bill at a restaurant.
Potts said some of Aranda's previous cases had been handled by a mental health court, but did not want to comment further on the man's mental health status in the Friday incident.
At least one parent was with the young victim on Friday morning when Aranda would have thrown off the third floor balcony. Both parents were at the bedside at the hospital, said Potts. The family is also from the Twin Cities area.
Brian Johnson had just entered the mall when he saw the crowd of people gathered near the escalator and the boy on the ground. His mother, Johnson told ABC 5, begged the audience: "Please, pray for everyone. Thank you for praying for my son. Everyone here right now, please, pray.
"How on earth can this happen with all the madness that reigns in the world?" Johnson said. "Why would you choose a child and ruin the life of a family like this?"