2 ARC students killed by knife-wielding assailant

Paul McIntyre remembered by peers on campus


Pictured here, is The Wellness and Recovery Center in Carmichael, Calif., where employees Paul McIntyre and Eileen Stanwick were murdered on Feb. 28, 2020. (Photo by Thomas Cathey)

Two American River College students, Paul McIntyre, 57, and Eileen Stanwick, 53, were killed by a knife-wielding assailant on Feb. 28 at a local psychiatric health facility in Carmichael, Calif., according to various sources, including an email from American River College President Thomas Greene.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Martin Raymond Lackey-Garcia, 39, was arrested on-site at the Wellness and Recovery Center in Carmichael on Feb. 28 on suspicion of the murder. Garcia is accused of stabbing four people, two of whom were McIntyre and Stanwick. The Bee also reported that the other two victims have survived the attack.

McIntyre, a human services major at ARC, was regarded highly by some of his peers on campus, including Human Services Assistant Professor Lisa Bertacccini, who instructed McIntyre in her Work Experience and Practices in Human Services classes this spring.

“​Paul was an incredible student. He is what I think of as an informal class leader. Soft-spoken, but assertive. He spoke what he knew to be true with intelligence, compassion, insight, and clarity,” Bertaccini wrote in an email to the Current. “He focused on his interior life so he could know himself and gauge his impact on others. When Paul spoke, we all listened and learned.”

The news of McIntyre’s death had an emotional impact on Bertaccini, which she says she is still currently feeling. 

“It’s still difficult to handle Paul’s passing,” Bertaccini wrote. “I seem to cycle through a range of feelings that any of us may experience in response to loss (numbness, sadness, anger, acceptance) and then I find myself feeling sad all over again.”

In addition to having to deal with McIntyre’s passing, Bertaccini also had the challenge of announcing his death to his fellow classmates. 

“​It was hard. It’s certainly never the kind of class discussion you want to facilitate,” Bertaccini wrote. “But it’s so important to give students an opportunity to express their feelings, process what occurred, make sense of it for themselves – and in the process, try to come to terms with Paul’s passing, myself. It also helps to grieve in [the] community. We see ourselves in each other.”

Mariah Louden, early childhood education major, often helped McIntyre around campus, as he suffered from an eye condition which rendered him blind. She would talk with and assist McIntyre weekly, since last semester, until the week of March 3, when Louden couldn’t find McIntyre on campus like she usually did.

“My grandma heard (about McIntyre’s death) it [on the news] and called me and I’m all like, ‘OK, what’s going on?’” Louden said. “She played [the recording] for me and at first I didn’t believe it.”

As the week continued, she said she slowly began to realize that McIntyre was gone. While Louden had only known McIntyre from the beginning of the academic year, she acknowledges that he was a bright spot of her experiences on campus.

“He seemed like a really great guy. He was so nice, friendly and kind,” Louden said. “He was one of the greatest people on campus I would say. I don’t know about planet earth, but at least on campus, he was one of the nicest people I ever met.”

If anyone has any information regarding the other ARC student killed in the Feb. 28 attack, Eileen Stanwick, please reach out to the Current and send an email to [email protected]