ALTURAS, Modoc County (KPIX 5) — A woman involved in an eviction hearing at an American Indian tribal headquarters near the Oregon border went on a deadly rampage Thursday, killing four people and critically wounding two others in a gun and knife attack, police said.
Cherie Lash Rhoades, a former tribal leader and chairwoman of Cedarville Rancheria in Modoc County, was arrested after the attack, said Alturas Police Chief Ken Barnes.
The dead include a 19-year-old woman, a 30-year-old man, a 45-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man, with one of the victim’s being the tribe’s leader, Barnes said. Rhoades is charged with four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Barnes said tribal members were meeting about evicting Rhoades and her son from property at the Rancheria which, according to its website, is a federally recognized tribe with 35 members.
During the hearing, Rhoades drew a semi-automatic handgun and started shooting, Barnes said. When she ran out of ammunition, Rhoades ran into the kitchen, grabbed a butcher knife and charged after a woman who had already been shot several times, Barnes said.
Four people were shot in the tribal office and a fifth was shot trying to flee, police said.
One of the people who escaped the attack, and was covered in blood, ran to the Alturas police station to report the attack, Barnes said.
When officers arrived the suspect was outside the building, running and clutching the knife in her hands, but a Rancheria employee helped tackle her and she was quickly subdued and brought into custody, Barnes said.
The stabbing victim and one of the shooting victims—both women—were taken to a Redding hospital where they were in critical condition, the Redding Record-Searchlight reported.
Investigators said they found two guns but Barnes said he didn’t know whether both had been used in the shooting, the Record-Searchlight said.
A person who answered the phone at a residence listed for Rhoades declined to comment Thursday evening.
Alturas, the seat of Modoc County, is a town with a population of about 2,800 and is known for its remote wilderness and natural beauty. It is about 55 miles south of the Oregon border and 35 miles west of the Nevada line.
Officials said the Rancheria owns 26 acres in Cedarville, Calif., and many of its families reside there, according to the tribe’s website.
The tribal office in Alturas hosts tribal events and activities like council meetings, youth tutoring and holiday celebrations.
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