Cherie Lash Rhoades, 44, who allegedly gunned down three relatives and a tribal administrator at Cedarville Rancheria tribal headquarters near Alturas, California, on February 20.

Cedarville Shooter Was Under FBI Probe Over Missing $50,000 in Federal Tribal Grants


Shooter Cherie Lash Rhoades was being investigated by the FBI for over $50,000 in missing grant money meant for the Cedarville Rancheria Tribe when she gunned down her brother, niece, nephew and a tribal administrator, the Associated Press reported on February 21.

The 35-member federally recognized tribe in the northeastern corner of California, right near the Oregon and Nevada borders, has been devastated by the shooting during an eviction hearing in which Rhoades allegedly pulled out a gun and began “systematically shooting individuals,” Alturas police chief Ken Barnes told the New York Daily News. Five people fell to her bullets, four of them dying. Running out of ammunition, Rhoades grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen and began stabbing a sixth person, police and witnesses said. She was apprehended outside the building, clutching the knife, after a blood-covered witness ran down the block and summoned police.  

Rhoades had recently been ousted as the tribal council chairwoman, and the hearing was under way to evict her and her 24-year-old son from tribal lands, according to accounts. At the hearing she killed her brother, 50-year-old Rurik Daniel Davis, who the current tribal leader; her niece, 19-year-old Angel Moonstar Penn; and her nephew, 30-year-old Glenn Philip Calonicco, Modoc County police said in a statement on Friday February 21.

Also shot dead was Shelia Lynn Russo, 47, a tribal administrator who oversaw evictions. Her mother, Linda Stubblefield, told the AP that Russo had mentioned being concerned about the potential for violence in her line of work. Russo was the mother of two teenagers.

The two wounded women were sisters and were flown to hospitals in Redding. Police told the AP that one was critically injured and the other was awake and talking to investigators.


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sweetgrass777's picture
Submitted by sweetgrass777 on
Dam! Another Native gone Bizerk!!! All over the dollar. What a shame. This is what it's coming down to folks. We will be killing each other over money.Way to go keep it up Native people. Great job. May the creator help us.

StarMtn's picture
Submitted by StarMtn on
Accusations are often thrown around during a political dispute and will be proven or disproven. It is important to remember that CA, like other PL 280 states have no tribal courts, except in limited circumstances, for limited issues. An Indian tribal member in these states have no rights on their own reservation and no where to appeal an eviction or disenrollment. When a tribe disregards it's own by laws or constitution, there is no where an individual can turn. Please Congress, get involved and do something so this violence will stop! This isn't the first time a desperate person has turned to violence. It doesn't excuse what she did and thank God none of the children were hurt. But, it could have turned out even worse.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I hope this "lady" is put away for a very long time. Her behavior and actions are despicable! Not only did she steal money from her tribe, she brutally killed RELATIVES. She single-handedly reduced her tribe's numbers by four people (they are now a tribe with only 31 members). I don't think Congress needs to butt into this, and I'm certain that evictions from tribal land or trbal inclusion can be traumatic, but there is no defending this woman. She may have been "upset" about being evicted, but what did she expect? She's a thief, a liar, and a murderer.