Thursday afternoon at the headquarters of Cedarville Rancheria Northern Paiute, a federally recognized tribe near the Oregon border, 44-year-old former tribal leader Cherie Lash Rhoades opened fire during an eviction hearing that could have kicked her and her son off the reservation. Rhoades shot four people in a hearing room and another who tried to flee, before she retrieved a butcher knife and charged after one of her shooting victims.
One victim escaped the attack, CBS5/KPIX reports, but four were dead before one of the victims could escape to the Alturas Police station, covered in blood, to summon help. The victims were a 19-year-old woman, a 30-year-old man, a 45-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man. One of them was the tribe's leader.
When police arrived, Rhoades was running around outside, also covered in blood and still wielding the butcher knife. One of the Rancheria employees helped tackle her and bring her to the ground so she could be taken into custody. Rhoades had been carry two handguns, although it is unclear whether she used both of them. She has been charged with four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
The whole sordid ordeal began when the tribal council met to possibly evict Rhoades, who formerly served as the chair of the tribal council in 2012, from the Rancheria. According to the Associated Press, investigators were looking into whether Rhoades had taken federal grant money meant for the tribe.
Per the tribe's website there are only 35 members living on 26 acres near Cedarville, California. Nearby Alturas is a small town of only 2,800 people.