BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Boy hurled off Minnesota mall balcony now 'alert and conscious'

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(Reuters) - The 5-year-old boy thrown off a third-floor balcony at Minnesota's Mall of America by a stranger is no longer in critical condition, said his family, who hopes he will be home by June.

More than 28,000 well-wishers from around the globe donated a total amount of more than $1 million to an online fundraiser set up for Landen Hoffman, who was hospitalized after the April 12 attack in the Bloomington mall, a major tourist attraction in the state.

"We are so elated to let you know that our son is now alert and conscious and is no longer in critical condition," an attorney for Hoffman's family said on Friday in a statement.

"We are now turning our focus to additional surgeries, healing, rehabilitation and eventually a return home, which we hope will happen by June."

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis was charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder and was being held in lieu of a $2 million bond.

Aranda, who has a history of mental issues and arrests on minor charges, is accused of dropping the boy nearly 40 feet (12 meters).

According to prosecutors, he admitted the attack, telling investigators he had been visiting the mall for years to try to talk to women, but their rejection "caused him to lash out and be aggressive."

Aranda said he initially intended to kill an adult, but chose the boy instead, prosecutors wrote in a criminal complaint.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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