Loved ones remember beloved maintenance man who was shot, killed

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Mother's Day card (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Mother's Day card (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The man who was shot and killed Monday afternoon at The Lex on Central apartments was the beloved maintenance tech at the complex.

Police have identified the victim as Todd Landon, 55, who friends and family say worked at the complex for the past five years.

When officers responded to “an unknown medical call” at the property on Central Avenue near Camelback Road, the found that Landon had been shot multiple times.

[READ MORE: PD investigating a homicide near Central and Camelback]

On Tuesday, Landon’s truck was still parked at the complex, with flowers, notes and other trinkets adorning the windshield.

“Not only was he my friend, but 11 o’clock at night I was having some maintenance issues. He was there in the garage, over there, came and helped me sort my situation out. So, he was just a good, beautiful soul, who I think was just tragically taken,” said Paul Unterhalter, a resident of the apartments who considered himself a good friend of Landon.             

Unterhalter said the entire complex has been affected by Landon’s death.

“There's a cloud over this community here today, from the people who knew him, like me for four years, to the ones he just met who just moved in,” said Unterhalter.

Police say they identified a 27-year-old woman as the suspect early on in the investigation and issued a bulletin with her photo and description, as well as a description of her vehicle and a “warning that she is armed and dangerous.”

[READ MORE: Woman shot, killed by SAU officer was suspect in earlier homicide]

Unterhalter said the woman moved into the complex a few months ago.

“How much anger was there that you want to take this guy, this 55-year-old man's life? He gave he gave blood, sweat and tears, literally to this place, said Unterhalter.

Betty Landon, 81, the victim’s mother, shared pictures of her son but did not have the strength to talk about him.

She also shared the Mother’s Day card her son gave her the day before he was killed. Also on the kitchen table, birthday cards to her son from various loved ones. He had just celebrated his 55th birthday on May 10.

“When I heard the news I was shocked. I actually couldn't believe it. Not Todd. To his family, I want everyone to know he will not, not, be forgotten … not be forgotten,” said Unterhalter.

It’s unclear what the motive was for the shooting. But according to Phoenix Police spokesman Sgt. Vince Lewis, it may be a situation where the woman wanted to pursue a relationship with Landon and he was not interested. 

Lewis said the woman went from the apartment where Landon was shot to a café near Central Avenue and Portland Street, a little less than 3.5 miles down Central, where she stayed for several hours.

As she was leaving at about 5:15 p.m. – five hours after police found Landon – an employee at the café tried to talk to her about her bill.

“She pointed her handgun at the employee and fled toward the park,” Lewis said in an email to media outlets.

That employee called the police to report the incident.

Police located the armed woman less than an hour later sitting in the Japanese Friendship Garden.

“She was threatening herself with the weapon and refusing to comply with commands,” according to Lewis.

The woman then walked toward an open area of Margaret T. Hance Park.

“Fearing that she was an immediate threat to citizens nearby, as well as other officers, one officer from the Special Assignments Unit, a twenty year [sic] veteran, fired his service weapon, striking the suspect and ending the threat,” Lewis explained. “Simultaneously, the suspect discharged her own weapon.”

The woman was pronounced dead at the hospital. Her identity has not yet been released.

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