While the United States was dealing with two mass shootings this weekend, the British were also horrified by a random act of terrorism.
A six-year-old boy, visiting London with his family from France, was suddenly thrown from a tenth floor observation platform at the Tate Modern art museum. The boy landed on a roof five floors below the viewing deck, a distance of around 100 feet.
While the motive hasn’t been made public yet, the similarity to the Mall of America tragedy is impossible to ignore. In April, Emmanuel Aranda tossed a five-year-old, known only by his first name, “Landen,” off a third floor mall level in Bloomington, Minnesota.
With all the parallels between the two incidents, why isn’t anyone calling for “building control” the same way that American liberals are now screaming about gun control? The reason is because it isn’t about guns, or buildings. The problem is getting proper and appropriate mental health care to those who need it the most.
All we know so far about the London incident is that the suspect was a total stranger. The 17-year-old male didn’t try to flee the scene. Witnesses describe him as “calm” and “relaxed,” right after throwing the boy over the edge.
Nancy Barnfield was on the viewing platform with her two boys when she heard “a loud bang.” As she was walking away, she relates, she “saw several people restraining a young man.” Before, she had seen the man, who appeared to be 19 to 21 years old, acting suspiciously. After what he did, he “looked very calm and was not fighting back.” When he showed up in court this morning, he had a black eye from one of the museum patrons who clobbered him after the attempted murder. He’s only 17 so they aren’t releasing his name. He has been confirmed to be a British national.
The juvenile psychopath reportedly “remained on the tenth-floor platform with members of the public after the incident. He was arrested by police on suspicion of attempted murder.
From what police were able to piece together, when the toddler “wandered just a few feet from his mother,” the suspect “picked him up and threw him extremely swiftly and in one movement” off the viewing platform. He landed on a roof five floors down. He was airlifted to a local hospital.
On Tuesday, London’s Metropolitan Police stated, “the injured boy remains in a stable, but critical condition in hospital with his family, who continue to be supported by officers.” In court proceedings the prosecutor noted the boy remains in the hospital with “bleed to his brain and fractures to his spine, legs and arms.”
The child who was assaulted in the Mall of America, Landen, has made a good recovery and has been released from intensive care into rehab. Landen also suffered “numerous broken bones, head trauma and severe bleeding.”
He was thrown off the third floor walkway by 24-year-old Emmanuel Aranda, who pleaded guilty to attempted premeditated first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison.
Landen and his mother were outside the Rain Forest Cafe “when Aranda came up close to them.” She had never seen the man before and “asked if she and her son should move.” According to the legal complaint, “Instead, Aranda picked up the boy and threw him over the railing.”
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Aranda admitted to police he came to the mall specifically to murder someone, and expected to kill an adult, “but that didn’t work out.” He knew what he was doing was wrong but didn’t care. “He explained he had visited the mall for years, trying to speak to women there, but they rejected him.”