Wednesday marks "National Day of Rememberance of Murder Victims"

By KBJR News 1

Wednesday marks "National Day of Rememberance of Murder Victims"

September 25, 2013 Updated Sep 25, 2013 at 10:43 AM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCOW.com) - Tony Moen says he remembers his friend of 15 years Terry Luukonen as a man that would not only give the shirt off his back to a friend in need, but often did in many ways.

"There [were] plenty of us that were trying to get out on our own-younger guys. He had a place for rent, [and] he'd let them rent for cheap," said Moen as he prepared his team's broomball net. Luukonen had been Captain of their team. "He'd help out with whatever you needed, anything... it didn't matter."

For Moen, May 23rd, 2013 will be a day that will forever be etched in his memory as one of shock, disbelief, and tragedy.

It was on that day in Superior that Luukonen was shot and killed in the parking lot of Genesis Attachments, where he worked.

41-year-old Juan Padilla is currently awaiting trial for the alleged murder.

The alleged reason: according to friends, Padilla was bitter about a broken off relationship, and Luukonen tragically found himself in the middle of it.

"It's so random-nothing leading up to it. Nobody had a clue that that could happen. [I] probably think about him more now than I did then-before he was murdered-because... you kind of take it for granted then," said Moen.

In Douglas County alone, crime in general has seen a 10% increase compared to 2012.

Illegal drugs, specifically heroin, are believed to be behind the spike, and also the alleged fuel behind another murder along Banks Avenue-the 2012 shooting of Toriano "Snapper" Cooper.

While not all drug-related crime leads to murder, Victim Witness Coordinator Kevin Giersdorf says nothing good can come from it.

"Crime goes up. People steal-steal to get money for drugs. Some of them have kids, [and] the kids are neglected because of drugs. Some of them are exposed to violent circumstances," said Giersdorf. "[It's] very difficult, nobody wants that."

Wednesday marks the annual National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims, where people are asked to remember that no crime is victimless.

But for Moen, every day will come with the memory of a lost friend.

"I don't know how I couldn't, y'know? You don't really think about it until something like this happens; about how much, every day, he impacted your life," said Moen.

...hoping memories of the good times will ease the pain of loss.

According to the Douglas County District Attorney's office, 138 people were murdered in Wisconsin in 2011.

Billy Wagness

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