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Boy attacked at Mall of America 'showing real signs of recovery'

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Stephen Tillitt who represents the family of the boy thrown at the MOA.
Attorney Stephen Tillitt, center, who represents the family of the boy thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America, speaks with reporters outside the Hennepin County Jail on April 16, 2019.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

The family of the 5-year-old boy who was thrown from a Mall of America balcony reported Friday that the child's condition is improving.

Authorities have said the boy was waiting with his mother outside a restaurant on April 12 when a 24-year-old man allegedly grabbed the child and threw him over the railing.

The family's attorney, Stephen Tillitt, read reporters a statement from the family on Friday, a week after the boy was injured.

"We have good news to share with you on this Good Friday," the statement read. "Our miracle child is showing real signs of recovery. New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead."

The statement also said the family is gaining more reason for optimism day-by-day, and remains focused on helping their child recover.

"We continue our appeal for privacy as we focus on our son and thank you for respecting our wishes," the statement read. "Just know that we absolutely feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support for they seem to be working."

Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, who was arrested in connection with an incident at the Mall of America where a 5-year-old boy plummeted three floors Friday, April 12, 2019, after being pushed or thrown from a balcony.
Bloomington Police Department via AP

An online fundraiser for the family of the boy, who has been identified only as Landen, had raised more than $880,000 as of midday Friday.

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, is charged with attempted first-degree murder in the attack and remains jailed after a Hennepin County judge Tuesday set bond at $2 million.

Aranda allegedly told investigators that he went to the mall April 11 intending to kill an adult but that it did not "work out," and so on April 12 he returned and chose the boy instead.

He allegedly told police he knew what he was planning to do was wrong, and that he'd been coming to the mall for years, tried to speak to women there and they rejected him, which made him lash out.