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. Seymour

    Could it be that all the media hyper coverage is spawnoing copycat activities. If a crazy knows he will make the five oclock news + indepth analysis for weeks or even years by CNN, MSNBC and FOX news broadcasters they will soon realize they will achieve imortality? Just wondering.....

    February 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      You are RIGHT! We should NOT have ANY news on criminal activity. The populace has no right to know such things, as it endangers them.
      Uh huh.

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

    The Principal died at 2 PM.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Geek

    Maybe they could be prevented from committing heinous acts, rather than just waiting for them to happen?

    February 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JJ

    One child witnessed the murder

    February 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Dear Lord, I was praying that no child witnessed the tragedy.

      February 2, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. T

    What a tradegy! We ALL need to realize that.. life is too short, and problems or issues are never too big to solve thru honest, loving, forgiving communication. Remember... "He hatemys the sin....but he loves the sinner." My heart goes out to all affected by this unfortunate incident. May God be with us all................

    February 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      @T: Amen.
      @NoTax: Please be quiet, you have nothing to contribute. I PRAY you are not one of my children-

      February 2, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      What ever happened to fist fights? A punch in the nose? Black eyes? Geez-vandelism, flat tires, keying a car-numerous things that DON'T ruin & take lives? Now-amongst the tragedy facing this entire community & the saddness some of us truly feel for all affected (why I have been on here-why I won't sleep quite as soundly) comes the news that a CHILD SAW this!

      February 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. NoTax

    Understandable, Liberals are supporting illegals in schools

    February 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality

      Riiiiight. Perfect answer from an ignorant, uneducated NeoCon. Make a tragedy about politics.

      Please don't breed.

      February 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Chicago

      Liberals also eat babies and make cancer. Get a life numbskull. This isn't political brainwashing time. Keep your racism to yourself.

      February 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chance

      You leave me speechless.....
      What ever happen to conservatives, I am conservative but these tea bagging comments make mr sick, what does the shooting has to do with being illegal.... In elemetary school I couldn't even shoot a gun and I am not sure that has changed, in elemetary school I didn't even consider physically hurting people as a mean of revenge.... What society have we been building? We have a problem here and u r too busy complaining about liberals.......

      February 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • songspinner

      Absolutely incorrect and an ignorant "blanket" comment. Most "liberals" I know do NOT support "illegals" in schools. There are far too many resources being taken from the schools as it is. We, as a nation, can't afford for even more to be taken as well.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      The custodian was probably a neocon; I haven't seen very many "liberal" custodians.

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

      I can't believe Wal -Mart lets you use their computers during working hours, well NO Tax it's time to get back to work.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • soy sauce

      @ NoTax..

      Why are conservatives so angry all the time? They are so angry that they will take any news story and somehow connect it to liberals. There could be a story about a meteor hitting the moon and they would still mention something about "liberals" (I don't even know what that term even means anymore).

      February 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mz Kay

    Heart and prayers go out to everyone in the school.. we just went through the same thing here in omaha nebraska.. but the assistant principal died and the principal was shot but he is doing fine and back at school..

    February 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      I pray that your city heals, and that there are better background checks on guns. When the schools are not safe from guns, it is as though America were being held hostage by terrorists.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jellis

    An unarmed country is a vulnerable country. Do you really think that by outlawing guns it will stop the violence and the urges of the mentally unstable and criminals. I have a right to protect my family, my home, and my country should the time arise that we are called to do so. Gun control starts with the owner of the gun, or the person possessing it.

    Now I am all for gun safes and trigger locks to prevent children from procuring their parents guns, and I believe every state should prosecute criminals that are in possession of firearm during a criminal act to the fullest extent of the law.

    Wake up America. This country was founded by free men and women with the rights to bear arms.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • jkINC

      Good thing there are no guns in this blog, or at least half of us would be dead. Ya think maybe the intolerance and hate that we spew at one another may be a bigger danger than the weapon of choice we have available to kill each other? Think about how in such a short time, we've gone from building civility and useful discourse to simply spitting venom. Maybe it's the outcome of our mentally and monetarily poor education system, we don't know how to think or reason any longer and simply react.

      February 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zma

      Yes. Founded by free men that owned slaves and free women that weren't allowed to vote. Please stop citing what this country was founded on. Some of it-NOT good. Some of it SHOULD NOT still exist.

      Besides, there were NO automatic weapons back then. One crazy settler with an uzi could have leveled an entire town. Just because certain guns exist does not mean we should have access to them. Should we all have the right to bear nuclear weapons too? After all, its the OWNER of the nuclear weapon that kills people. Not the nuclear weapon itself.

      I think mentally unstable people having access to guns is what makes us vulnerable. And without gun control-guess what? More insane people have more access to more guns.

      Would I give up my right to own a product that I will probably never need to use if it would save many many lives? Hell yes I would.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Yes, wake up; the firearms that kill your teachers and elected representatives would not defend you against a military attack. The 2nd Amendment was written when a "gun" meant a slow-loading musket; I don't think it ever meant that a citizen could own a canon or later, a tank, but people own real weapons of mass destruction, and with little or no background checks. I have nothing against hunters, but please people, wake up and get those background check laws into place, this is a real terrorist crisis in America when our teachers are gunned down. If you think that it is your right to shoot teachers, then you are the opposite of patriotic.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Bravo Jellis.

      February 2, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CAnative

    This story is so sad. The principal has died from his injuries and from all accounts the principal was a wonderful man, only 50 years young. It is a shame that people only care about pushing their anti gun or pro gun stances on a thread about an unbearable tragedy for this man's family as well as the students, past and present, that attend this school.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • ksoze


      February 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Tell me about it. And the shooter was the custodian at a school. I'm sure he passed a background check.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Geek


    Oh, puhlease! Talk about clueless nutjobs! How's that medical marijuana treating you, hippie?

    February 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality

      Better than the Conservative dick you're smoking.

      February 2, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • soy sauce

      Medical marijuana is extremely effective at preventing severe epileptic seizures, and has made life bearable for people suffering from epilepsy....marijuana should be legal everywhere.

      February 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. watanye

    I would think that placing all the schools in the county in lock down would really scare the crap out of the kids.Too much TV

    February 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Proof that we need more guns- especially full auto asault rifles. With two of these babies and a hand grenade- that principal could have defended himself.... until we stop letting gunnuts write the laws concerning guns -people will continue to die.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      People will continue to die anyway. Sad but true. The are what about 250,000,000 guns in the country and about 80,000,000 owners and somewhere around 30,000 annually or about 1/10 of 1% of the weapons or about 3/10 of one percent of owners cause those deaths.

      Personally I wish the damn things hadn't ever been invented but they have and there is no changing that. But it is not near the trouble that most of you Hoplophobes try and make of it. Before you go spouting off about it happening to someone in my family, I have news for you, it has.

      February 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Alyssa

    Wow...I'll be passing through Placerville tonight. Hits close to home.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lameduck

    1. People don't kill people! Guns kill people!
    2. We need more gun control laws. Fill up the books! I am sure all the bad guys will obey them.
    3. The Police will always be there to save me.
    4. Drunk drivers kill more people per year than guns. We should outlaw cars!

    I sound like an irrational, moron? You should listen to your own bullsh**!

    February 2, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • watanye

      They just don't comprehend because they didn't grow up with guns.

      February 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. M

    Everyone who is politicizing this should be punched in the face, no matter WHAT party they're in.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
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