Scene of the fatal shooting of four people at the Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Office and Community Center outside Altura, California on February 20.

Shooting at Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Office Leaves 4 Dead, 2 Critically Injured


Four people are dead, two are critically injured and a woman is in custody after a shooting at the Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Office and Community Center in Alturas, California.

Police say the 44-year-old woman, known as Cherie Lash, or as Cherie Rhoades, opened fire during an eviction hearing at about 3:30 p.m. Pacific time on February 20, Reuters reported. Two women, aged 19 and 45, and two men, 30 and 50, died, and two others were airlifted to hospitals in critical condition. Police told ABC affiliate KRCR-TV that one of the deceased was the current tribal leader.

Rhoades, a former chairwoman of the 35-member federally recognized tribe, was attending a hearing about her potential eviction from tribal lands, the Redding, California, Record Searchlight reported. After shooting the five people, Rhoades allegedly went after a sixth with a butcher knife, police said.

Cedarville is about 15 miles east of Alturas, in northeastern California near the Oregon border.

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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I heard about this on the news this morning and was shocked and dismayed. Any word on why this woman was being evicted from tribal lands? Any word on the weapons used or a chronology of events? Also, I can't believe there is a federally recognized tribe with only 35 members.

StarMtn's picture
Submitted by StarMtn on
Yes, a Rancheria can have 35 members. I know one with less. I wonder if Congress will wake up. With all of the disenrollments happening in Indian Country, Tribes ignoring their own consititutions and ruling by fear, it's a wonder something like this hasn't happened before now. In CA and other PL280 states there are rarely tribal courts so a potential disenrollee has no forum in which to be heard, other than the corrupt tribal council initiating the disenrollment! Tribal members are afraid to challenge councils for fear that their family will be disenrolled too! Tribal councils are hiding behind sovereign immunity to commit horrendous abuses of power. If Congress ever steps up, sovereignty will be comprimised for all because we are tolerating the abuses of several. This woman was facing evicition by her own relatives, and had no where to turn to appeal. What she did was horrible, but I wouldn't be surprised if she was pushed to her limit by knowing that a few people were about to destroy her life. Wake up tribes!