An online fundraiser for a 5-year-old boy who was attacked at Mall of America on Friday has gained national attention and has quickly raised more than a quarter of a million dollars.
The GoFundMe account for the boy started Saturday morning and after nine hours (as of 7:30 p.m.) it had generated more than $250,000 that will help his family pay for medical bills, the fundraiser says.
Bloomington police say the 5-year-old was on the third floor at Mall of America when a man randomly attacked him, causing him to fall nearly 40 feet to first floor. The boy was treated at the scene and rushed by ambulance to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis where he continues to receive care.
The fundraiser says the boy is in stable condition.
The attacker, identified by police as 24-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, is being held in Hennepin County Jail on probable cause attempted murder. Formal charges are expected to be filed by noon Monday.
"This is a horrific situation," said Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts on Saturday. "The family and this child are in our thoughts and prayers and I know the family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers as they hope for a full recovery of this child."
The fundraiser describes the child as "full of energy and life" and comes from a "generous" family that "you always hope to live next door."
BMTN doesn't typically name crime suspects until they have been charged, however made an exception in this case given where this happened, the subsequent public interest in this incident, and the fact he has already been widely identified by other Twin Cities media.