Cherie Lash Rhoades was being threatened with eviction at a hearing held at the American Indian headquarters in Alturas, CA, when she began shooting, emptying her gun and then turning to a butcher knife.
Four people died during that attack, and 2 more were critically wounded, police said.
Rhoades, 44, of Cedarville, is now in police custody and facing murder charges, as well as attempted murder, and child endangerment charges, Alturas Police Chief Ken Barnes said.
When officers arrived, Barnes said, the suspect was outside the building, running and clutching a knife in her hands, but a Rancheria employee helped tackle her and she was quickly subdued and brought into custody.
Rhoades had been under federal investigation over at least $50,000 in missing funds, a person familiar with the tribe’s situation told The Associated Press on Friday.
Barnes said in a story carried by Redding’s KRCR-TV that the four dead include a 19-year-old woman, a 30-year-old man, a 45-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man. The police chief said one victim is the tribe’s leader.
All of [the victims], as far as I know, are affiliated with the tribe in some way,” said Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter.
The people of Modoc County are in shock. Their small community is generally very quiet.
There were investigations in place looking into whether Rhoades had taken federal grants intended for the Cedarville Rancheria tribe, said a person who wished to remain anonymous.
A woman who was covered in blood escaped the building, and ran to the Alturas police station to alert the authorities, Barnes reported.
Baker, was who got the information from the woman at City Hall, said that the woman was screaming that Rhoades was shooting. Baker said the police immediately sprung into action, and were at the scene within seconds.
“She did an amazing job,” said Baker. “She was rattling off critical information for dispatching police and fire within a matter of seconds.”
The shooting was on everyone’s mind Thursday night at the Niles Hotel, which is a few blocks from the Rancheria’s headquarters, said Cheyenne Menkee who works at the hotel’s saloon.
“It’s not something you hear about happening here in Alturas,” she said. “My heart dropped a little bit… some people in here are kind of shaky. People were concerned if someone they knew was shot.”
Image via YouTube