"Thank you again for all of your support, we are truly gracious to be surrounded by a community that reaches out to help those in need", the family friend said. "But as to why he did that, is still something we're looking into and trying to figure out". The family is requesting privacy, I think that we just want to acknowledge that this is a horrific situation.
"I heard the mother screaming pray for my kid. please pray for my son. everyone please pray", said Brian Johnson, witness.
Potts said investigators don't believe Aranda knew the boy's family and do not have a motive.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the boy, which can be found here. "He was enjoying a day at the Mall of America with his mom and friend on Friday morning when a stranger maliciously grabbed him and threw him over the 3rd floor balcony for no apparent reason", the family friend continued.
"At this time we do not believe there is a relationship between the suspect and the child or the family of the child, and we are actively investigating as to why this incident occurred", Potts said at a briefing just outside the mall. He said she was screaming, "Everybody pray, everybody pray".
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, was last night charged with attempted murder after Bloomington Police tracked him down.
Records show that Aranda has a history of assault and bad behavior at the Mall of America, a sprawling complex in the Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota, that hosts hundreds of retail stores, restaurants, an amusement park and aquarium and draws 40 million visitors a year.
The Mall of America issued a statement on Friday, saying: "This was a senseless act and words can not truly express our profound shock and sadness".
The boy was taken to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis with serious injuries.
Potts commended the Mall of America for quickly locating the suspect.
Court records show he'd been banned from the mall in the past and was convicted on misdemeanor charges in two incidents back in 2015. He could be formally charged as early as Monday.
He said that cops had given the child first aid along with members of the public.
Onlookers said a woman began shouting after the child was attacked. He tossed a glass of water in the woman's face, then threw a glass of tea at her leg, shattering the cup.