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Placerville School Principal Shot And Killed, Suspect Arrested

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John Luebbers

John Luebbers

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PLACERVILLE (CBS13) – A school principal died Wednesday after being shot by on in his office by a school janitor, according to police.

Louisiana Schnell Principal Sam LaCara, 50, was fatally shot in the upper torso just before 10:45 a.m. by 44-year-old John H. Luebbers, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.

A student may have witnessed the shooting, but did not suffer any physical injuries.

Luebbers allegedly fled the campus before authorities locked down the school and was located less than an hour later at his home on Skycrest Drive in El Dorado. Heavily armed officers frisked the suspect and took him into custody without incident.

suspect Placerville School Principal Shot And Killed, Suspect Arrested

School schooting suspect John Luebbers is frisked outside his home. (credit: CBS)

The Placerville Police Department said LaCara was pronounced dead at Marshall Hospital at 11:16 a.m.

LaCara’s wife, rushing to get to the hospital, was pulled over for speeding by CHP on Highway 50. She told the officer her husband had been shot and was driven to the hospital in a CHP unit.

Anxious parents lined up at the school to collect their children as the news of the shooting spread.

RAW: Parent Reacts To Shooting At School

“The kids, I guess they are safe. I believe my son is safe. But I don’t know what he’s thinking,” said parent Stephanie Rael. “How do you go back to school? How do you go back to school when something really bad has happened?”

“The kids, I guess they are safe. I believe my son is safe. But I don’t know what he’s thinking,” said parent Stephanie Rael. “How do you go back to school? How do you go back to school when something really bad has happened?”

Some parents shared stories of unpleasant encounters with the suspect.

“My son is scared of him,” said parent Sharon Neu. “He (Luebbers) and I actually had some words one time and I didn’t appreciate his reaction….He’s not a very friendly man. And he did not make the school very friendly to be at.”

RAW: Parent Says Custodian Was Not A Friendly Man

The Placerville Union School District announced that Louisiana Schnell School, Markham Middle School and Sierra Elementary will be closed Thursday. Classes are scheduled to continue on Friday with counselors and grief support services available for students.

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