Superior Homicide Details; Victim's Family Mourns
As police identified the suspect in Superior’s first homicide of the year Thursday, FOX 21 was learning who the victim, Terry Luukkonen, was and how his family is remembering him.
Police say the suspect is Leonardo, Padilla, 41, of Arizona, who is also a 20-year veteran and former police officer.
The story behind this alleged homicide, is a love triangle, gone horribly wrong, according to officials.
For Terry, on Thursday, what started as any normal workday, didn’t end like one.
"The victim in yesterday’s fatal shooting incident has been identified as 46-year-old Terrance Rodney Luukkonen of Duluth, Minnesota. Terrance was shot while he was sitting inside his vehicle in the parking lot of Genesis Attachments, where he was employed," said Deputy Chief Nicholas Alexander, of the Superior Police Department.
Luukkonen died later that day after being rushed to a Duluth hospital.
"An autopsy will be performed today to determine the official cause and manner of death; which is believed to be from at least one gunshot wound to the head," Alexander said.
Dultuh police arrested Padilla at the Allyndale Motel in West Duluth at about 6 p.m. Thursday.
Padilla had been staying at the motel since he recently came into town from Arizona.
Police said, at this time, nothing suggests that Luukkonen and Padilla personally knew each other, but police believe they knew about each other through a woman.
Terrance’s fiancé met Padilla in Arizona in 2011, and the two have been acquaintances since then, according to authorities.
The criminal complaint says Padilla was upset that Terrance and his fiancé were continuing their relationship. Padilla even made threatening statements, like "I want to kill him," and "I can’t live without you," Alexander said.
Luukonen’s family said, he loved the outdoors, had a contagious laugh and a smile that will live on in memory.
"The law enforcement community wishes to express our sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Terrance," Alexander said.
The Allyndale Motel and the Genesis Attachments Company both declined to comment Thursday.
Padilla may make his initial court appearance sometime next week in Douglas County Court, according to authorities.
For the past story with the mug shot of the suspect, click here.
Family Releases Statement to FOX 21:
"Terry was the guy that everybody loved. He was kind hearted, generous & fun to be around. He loved to laugh with friends and family, play cribbage & have a good time no matter what he was doing. His smile & laughter were contagious.
He was active in many sports such as softball, volleyball & broomball. More than any other sport he was most active in his broomball league. He was the captain of his team the Superior Machine, traveling for several tournaments throughout the year. This year his team won the state championship in Blaine Mn. Here he was quoted in the ABC Newspsper.com:
"It's a wonderful feeling to win the championship game for a state title," said Terry Luukkonen of Duluth, defenseman and manager for Superior Machine which won the state title in the B Division. "The game was a close contest and you go from an anxious, nervous feeling to elation once the buzzer sounds."
In 2012 he received the Chancellor award in broomball.
Even as a young child Terry loved to be outdoors camping with family and fishing as much as he possibly could. He loved to fish for walleye and muskie out on Lake Superior, he caught some impressive fish out on the big lake.
Terry worked for Genesis for many years. He often traveled for work going a few times a year to Germany and Europe. Terry made friends wherever he went, even across the world. He loved his job and met some wonderful people.
But more than the sports he played, the outdoors, Terry loved to be with his family. He spent many nights with his mom and step father for dinner, time with his brother and sister and loved to play with his 4 nephews and 2 nieces. Terry was very close with his grandparents, many cousins, aunts & uncles.
He had countless friends, team mates and co-workers. He will be deeply missed by so many, words cannot describe the heartache we are all feeling at this time. We would like to thank both the Superior & Duluth Police Departments for all of their hard work on this case as well as Fox 21, for reaching out to focus on Terry during this unimaginable tragedy.
Family of Terry Luukkonen"