By Koula Gianulias

RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) – Detectives on Tuesday arrested a man accused of shooting and killing a Cordova Recreation and Park District superintendent on Monday morning, and CBS13 learned the two men had a rocky relationship when they worked together.

barber Former Park District Employee Arrested, Accused Of Killing Superintendent

Dupree Barber

The suspect, Dupree Barber, is a 47-year-old former employee of the parks district. He was arrested for the murder of Steven Ebert, his former supervisor at the parks district, according to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Jason Ramos.

CBS13 discovered Tuesday night that Barber, who is black, filed a lawsuit in 2009 in Sacramento County Superior Court against the district and specifically named Ebert, who was white, claiming racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation. The lawsuit also said the two nearly came to blows during a meeting in September 2008. The case was dismissed in December 2010.

Barber reportedly approached a West Sacramento police officer on Tuesday and said “I think I’m wanted.” The sheriff’s department was already looking for him because his name came up from other employees and his vehicle was found in close proximity to the murder scene at Hagan Community Park, Ramos said.

When detectives arrived in West Sacramento, Barber agreed to go with them back to the sheriff’s department for questioning and was subsequently arrested. Barber is being held in the county jail without bail. He’s scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.

“It blows me away,” said Al Sutherlin, a resident at the Rancho Cordova apartment complex where Barber lives. “He was a real quiet guy. No indication that he would be a violent type at all.”

steve ebert Former Park District Employee Arrested, Accused Of Killing Superintendent

Steven Ebert

A current park employee was headed to work at around 6 a.m. Monday when he drove past an SUV with its engine running and lights on near Hagan Community Park at Chase Drive.

The employee found Ebert, 59, slumped back in his seat. Ebert’s foot was on the brake and the vehicle was still in gear. The employee also noticed there were multiple bullet holes in the driver’s side of the vehicle.

“We’re all shocked and this a great tragedy for the Rancho Cordova community as well as Sacramento county and the region,” interim parks administrator Doug Critchfield said.

Ebert was the superintendent of the district and he oversaw maintenance of 38 parks.

Ramos said in press release Tuesday afternoon that Barber was among the 18 park district employees who were laid off two weeks ago to close an $800,000 budget deficit. Detectives believe his loss of employment was the motive for killing Ebert.

The park district office was closed Tuesday to mourn the death of Ebert.

Comments (14)
  1. Matt says:

    I don’t get it…I realize you are trolling but your post doesn’t make ANY sense. How about a clarification?

  2. craw says:

    The Bell is a flaming liberal, don’t u get it Matt?

    1. . termite says:

      I think someone rang hour bell as a newborn ,what are you talking about.

  3. dodge the bullet says:

    Sadly, this isn’t the 1st time or last that we’ll see crimes like this. With the bad shape the economy is in, plus workers getting laid off while other employees stay on past their retirement age there’s bound to be hostility…

    1. Linda says:

      So you murder someone that gives you the notice, not the one making the decisions? Stupid!!

      1. Whitey says:

        This just the agony of karma…next time someone lays off 18 people in this economy better think three times…most likely racial tension build up LOL, so sad that everything boils downs to the color of skin!

  4. John says:

    What is this CRIMINAL’S NAME!?!??!?! GEESHHH!!!! Talk about LOUSY REPORTING!!!!

  5. elliott the Cat says:


  6. TLor says:

    You get laid off you find another job, you don’t shoot your supervisor, its usually not even their pick or their fault.
    Blame the economy, blame your work ethic and blame your attitude, but have a little common sense and stop killing for lack of anything else to do.

  7. . termite says:

    Another African American to the can , loser from the word go . And what was his job ?

  8. jackie says:

    What worries me is that one of these days some disgruntled folks who lose their means of living will open fire at the state capital, it is not just black or white or beign citizens, to many people are in serious financial trouble. No money no life so they go after who they think is responsible. I am sure the supervisor knew what he was doing but this killer had issues no doubt, he should have been fired when he first filed the bogus law suit( by someone higher up).

  9. stan atkinson says:

    Slow news day? Must be.

  10. thomas wilburn says:

    First off, I am a white guy that happens to live on a park maintained by these people in Ranch and have met Mr. Barber a couple times. I am old and once he jumped off the mower and came over and gave me a hand for a momment without being asked, it was real gentlemently. After that I would notice him, he is hard to miss as he is large, always smiling and works HARD, we have been lucky to have him. I don’t know enough to make the decissions about laying people off and I am not naive enough to say he is a great guy, he did murder someone after all, but no need for the racist BS, guessing he hit his limit and now he is going to pay for it. I am horribly sorry for the murdered gentlemen and his family but racist remarks won’t make it any better.

  11. The blogger says:

    So is losing your job worth spending the rest of your life at Pelican Bay?

    What a fool & what a waste……………

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