Principal shot, killed by janitor at Calif. elementary school

Cops found 44-year-old janitor John Luebbers at his home about an hour after authorities launched a manhunt

Associated Press

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — A 50-year-old elementary school principal was shot and killed Wednesday at a Northern California school and police arrested a school janitor in the attack. No children were hurt.

Louisiana Schnell principal Sam LaCara died from a gunshot wound to his torso, Placerville police Chief George Nielson said during an afternoon press conference. Authorities had locked down the school after the shooting in the principal's office before 11 a.m.

Authorities arrested the school's janitor, 44-year-old John Luebbers, at his home about an hour after authorities launched a manhunt. Police were investigating the motive for the shooting, including whether Luebbers had been laid off.

"There may have been some kind of dispute between the principal and the custodian," Nielson said. "That's part of our investigation."

He said one student may have witnessed the shooting.

Nielson said LaCara was taken to Marshall Medical Center, where he died after 11 a.m. The police chief said LaCara's family is devastated.

"They are requesting privacy at this time," Nielson said.

Police commended the school staff for quickly locking down the school and protecting the children. Students were taken to the county fairground, then were being released to their parents.

"The children were safe in this incident. The principal was the target in this, unfortunately," Nielson said.


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