Elementary school principal killed in shooting; man arrested
Police arrested janitor John Luebbers, 44, in connection with the shooting.
February 2nd, 2011
06:28 PM ET

Elementary school principal killed in shooting; man arrested

The principal of an elementary school in northern California was shot to death Wednesday, police said.

Placerville Police Chief George Nielsen identified the victim as Sam Lacara, 50, the principal of Schnell School, who was shot in the upper torso.

John Luebbers, 44, a custodial employee, was arrested in connection with the shooting, which was believed to have stemmed from a dispute between the two men, Nielsen said.

No schoolchildren were injured, but authorities believe one student may have seen the shooting.

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Filed under: California • Crime
soundoff (408 Responses)
  1. iShane

    good thing they are on lockdown, because we don't get to use that word often in our para-military police force, it feels so liberating and powerful to say.....lockdown.....sweet....good thing to be locking down....our kids.....get em ready for the police state.

    in the 50's they had to worry about 'nukes' so they hid under desks,
    in the 60's they had to worry about bad acid
    in the 70's bad bell bottoms
    in the 80's bad hairspray
    in the 90's offending fat people and proper gender ethics
    2k + shooting each other

    ....something in the system changed, just WHAT do you 'think' that was, AND better, don't you 'think' that NO MATTER what it was, we should change it back...just a little.......maybe?

    February 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Linds2

    @may....are you seriously trying to make an argument with your "ideas." You honestly believe that removing guns and "checking them out at a range" would solve problems. You really need to think hard about what you are saying. And your idea about people don't kill people, guns kill people is 100% ridiculous. You are a simple minded person who clearly doesn't look at any facts and watches to much television. My family are HUGE hunters, bow and rifle season, and going to check them out at an armory would be completely ridiculous. You must not have any experience with a hunting family who uses that food for their family, therefore, close minded. I honestly feel sorry for you. I really don't believe for a second that you would put a sign on your house that would completely endanger your family either, thats just lies to prove your point(which is nonsense). I live in Memphis, putting a sign like that would get my family robbed immedietly, if guns were illegal or not. So jump off from your pedestal real quick and get back to reality or go to another country!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • iShane

      exactly....because it's not like it was increasinlyg easier to get guns as you back-track thru the decades or anything and yet......they WERE NOT shooting each other......interesting eh.....the other side HATES that bit of 'thought'.....that....something changed in society causing kids to resort to shooting each other. All the while we have MORE gun control, whatever that something is has nothing to do with an inanimate object......just interesting.

      Dumb people often are.....interesting.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ksoze

      To call someone 'simple minded' or 'dumb' simply for disagreeing with you or sharing their point of view says a lot more about you than it does them. And no, I'm not anti-gun.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Satan

    i read all these comments and the only one i found to be out of place and just redic is the comment posted by "geek" your a sad person. f_cking pathetic

    February 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Don

    First off my heart and prayers go out to the victims of the school!
    Second, every one can ARM chair quarterback this deal with firearm rights, prayer in schools, illegals in schools, and who's opinion is right!
    It all starts with "you" at home with "your" children! They watch "you" all the time! If you do and say things; your children will think its ok! Act like an adult and not a child!
    God bless the principal of the California Elementary School!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sacramento Resident

    From our LOCAL news site:
    PLACERVILLE, Calif. - The principal of Louisiana Schnell Elementary School in Placerville died after being shot on campus Wednesday morning, Police Chief George Nielsen said.

    School custodian John Luebbers was taken into custody at this home in connection with the 10:30 a.m. attack against principal Sam LaCara, police said.

    "All of our children are safe," Neilsen told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. He called the shooting a "tragedy for Placerville."

    Nielsen said the shooting occurred in the principal's office. At least one student may have witnesses the attack.

    LaCara, who was shot in the torso, was taken to nearby Marshall Hospital. He died shortly after 11 a.m., the Nielsen said.

    Capt. Larry Marinas of El Dorado County Fire said the school was initially placed on lockdown while police searched for Luebbers. The campus is located at 2871 Schnell School Road.

    Buses eventually arrived at the school to transport students to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, where they were reunited with parents.

    Many parents expressed frustration about conflicting information about where to pick up their children. Nielsen apologized for the confusion.

    Parents said LaCara did a good job at the school. Some parents described Luebbers as "grumpy" and "rude" toward some students.

    It was not immediately clear if the school will be open on Thursday.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Charles

    You got to see what's been going on in my life that they been keeping secrit

    February 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. EnoughAlready!

    No offense intended May but you are FAR too one sided on the issue to be taken at all seriously. You wear your unmasked bias right on your sleeve.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Plcerville

    Put down the senseless hateful rhetoric for a moment. I want each and every one of you to take the following test. While you think of your answer, try to pretend you were an eleven year old student at this school. The question:

    "What could your parents tell you that would make tomorrow or the next day seem safe?"

    By the way, my Brother and his son, my nephew, passed by the gunman as he was entering the office. Please be respectful of each other in your answers.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      We have the highest per capita murder rate outside of third world nations. What's safe?

      February 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bang

    I said give me your lunch money!!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. paul

    EVERYBODY SETTLE DOWN.........LOOK UP DeSHANEY VS. WINNEBAGO DEPT OF PUBLIC SERVICES,IT STATES THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONES SAFETY IS NOT THE JOB OF THE POLICE, BUT THAT OF PRIVATE CITIZENS THEMSELVES
    SOME OF YOU WILL PROBABLY NEVER GO OUTSIDE AGAIN...THEN YOU COULD ALWAYS ASK YOUR DOCTOR FOR SOME THORAZINE...THOSE THAT CARRY OR ARE THINKING ABOUT IT WILL BE O.K.

    WE ARE TRULY A COUNTRY DIVIDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      FIRE THE WORTHLESS POLICE! NOT ONLY TARE THEY NOT DOING THEIR JOB, IT'S NOT THEIR JOB TO DO!

      February 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bang

      I like how you say settle down and then proceed to type in ALL CAPS!! You low IQ posters are a great source of entertainment.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Josh

    I'm sorry but all anybody can do is laugh at these shootings that continue to happen, because the government refuses to do anything about gun control. So anytime their is a mass shooting I just laugh and keep laughing because as a society we are killing each other HAHAHAHAHAHA !!!

    February 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. woody

    I wish they would just do away with the comment section. My heart goes out to the families.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • doodaa32

      A short IQ test would keep 75% from entering.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PAUL

    THAT IS A SUPREME COURT CASE DECIDED IN 1989

    February 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      WHY DONCHYA TELL US MORE ABOUT IT?

      February 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tom

    Ok its pretty simple an all out ban on guns would be as productive as prohibition in the 1920s control over who can own guns and what kind is already overstepping in a lot of states plus the criminals aren't going to follow controls anyway its kinda moronic to think making something harder to get is going to keep criminals from doing what ever they want anyway ... I don't own guns I prefer to defend my home with knives I can kill just as easily with one and less mistakes is that your next step ban and control knives???

    February 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Using your logic: there is no point in making anything illegal because criminals will get it anyway. So nukes, hand grenades, bazookas might as well be legal because, according to you, there is no point in making some thing illegal because the criminals will get it anyway.

      People, you do realize there are hundreds of other nations out there that do not have our per-capita violence and crime problems, yet have gun control.

      Open your mind before you again put a foot in your mouth.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Yankee Thunder

    Great reporting there, CNN. For a story that's not currently "breaking news" I'd expect at least a few more details, like was anybody hurt??? Three sentences on a school shooting...very sub par reporting on your end. I'm embarrassed that I even come to this site for news.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
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