Did a Somali Muslim man throw a 5-year-old off the 3rd floor balcony at the Mall of America in Minnesota? No, that's not true: The suspect identified by police as the man who threw little Landen Hoffman over the railing 40-feet above the ground floor on April 12, 2019, is an American citizen who grew up in Chicago, with no known connection to Somalia.
The fake reports that it was a Muslim from Somali have spread across social media, including this video published on April 14, 2019 titled "SOMALI MUSLIM MAN THROWS 5 YEAR OLD OFF THE THIRD FLOOR BALCONY AT MALL OF AMERICA IN MINNESOTA!" (archived here) which opened:
SOMALI MUSLIM MAN THROWS 5 YEAR OLD OFF THE THIRD FLOOR BALCONY AT MALL OF AMERICA IN MINNESOTA! WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR CITIZENS PLEASE SHARE AND INFORM YOUR FAMILY!
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
SOMALI MUSLIM MAN THROWS 5 YEAR OLD OFF THE THIRD FLOOR BALCONY AT MALL OF AMERICA IN MINNESOTA! WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR CITIZENS PLEASE SHARE AND INFORM YOUR FAMILY! WATCH ON MY NEW YOUTUBE: New Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmO-VhSYANH1zN2wiWpPauA Donate To The Fatherless Generation Documentary! P.O. Box: 8516 63rd Ave N APT/ Suite 103, Brooklyn Park, MN 55428 https://paypal.me/conservativenation
Police have charged 24-year-old Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda with attempted murder. He is known to be a native of Chicago, who moved to Minnesota about five years before the attack. A local TV station spoke to Aranda's uncle in Chicago:
Aranda's uncle, Francis Aranda, said his nephew had violent tendencies since childhood, even with his own family. In 2014, before moving to Minnesota, he was charged with a handful of crimes, including assault, after he threatened to slit a restaurant employee's neck during a dispute in the Chicago area, "he has a serious mental problem, he was diagnosed as a child," replied Aranda.
The boy survived the fall and was hospitalized with critical injuries. Police shared details with reporters in a news conference:
Despite the lack of any evidence the suspect was Muslim or from Somalia, social media posters took the bait:
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