Rural Area Rocked by Deadly Shooting at Tribal Meeting

Phil Willon et al., Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2014

The afternoon at City Hall was winding to a close on Thursday when a woman splattered with blood began ringing the bell and screaming for help.

She had come around the corner from a tribal meeting where police say a woman shot and killed four people, three of them her relatives. The suspect, Cherie Lash Rhoades, previously had been chairwoman of the small Northern Paiute tribe, but the meeting was being held to evict her and her son from the rancheria.


The killings left this former cattle town of 2,800 reeling Friday and questioning how a close-knit community where everyone knows most everyone had failed to see any signs of the coming explosion.

The dead included Rhoades’ brother and the current tribal chairman, Rurik Davis, 50; her niece Angel Penn, 19; and nephew Glenn Calonicco, 30. Lynn Russo, 47, the tribal administrator, also was killed.

The small rancheria “pretty much lost their leadership yesterday,” said Alturas Mayor John Dederick, a retired cabinetmaker who lives two blocks from shooting site.


A Bureau of Indian Affairs official said there were about 18 adults at the meeting and some children. The blood-covered woman who escaped was an office worker whom police have declined to identify.


A member of a nearby tribe said Rhoades had been suspected of embezzling money at the rancheria. Spokespersons for the FBI and the U.S. attorney with jurisdiction over the region declined to comment. Duran would say only that Rhoades was being investigated for alleged improprieties.

He confirmed that the tribal council was holding an administrative hearing to evict Rhoades from the tribal land. He said the tribe had only 11 voting members but had been in the valley for centuries, with its lands held in a tribal trust.

Duran said tribal members received a portion of casino proceeds from outside tribes with casinos, but that Cedarville Rancheria did not operate a casino. The rancheria owns a gas station and store on the road into the town of Cedarville, which provides members with additional income. The headquarters, where the shooting took place, is located 20 miles away in Alturas.


Cedarville Rancheria is a small, federally recognized tribe of 35 people, most of whom live on its 26-acre reservation. It is one of a number of tribes that fall under the umbrella of Northern Paiutes, whose territory includes parts of California, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho.

Heather MacDonnell, the Alturas city treasurer and finance director, said she was at her desk at City Hall on Thursday afternoon when the woman burst in and screamed for help.


MacDonnell and another city employee raced down the hall to alert police. When the officers arrived at the tribal headquarters, Rhoades had run out of bullets and was brandishing a large knife, police said.

“She had fired all the ammunition she had on her own,” MacDonnell said. “She was taken down.”

Barnes, the police chief, said Rhoades made a statement after her arrest and then asked for an attorney. He said he believed all the victims had sustained gunshot wounds.

After the shooting, Rhoades grabbed a butcher knife from a kitchen and started attacking a tribal member, Barnes said. Others in the room pulled her away. Barnes said two semiautomatic handguns were found at the scene.


Barnes said Rhoades was known to police but had never been arrested. She could be “difficult” at times, he said.

Maddy Arredondo, 24, who works for a nearby sister tribe, described Rhoades as a large, burly, outspoken woman known for being “assertive and loud.” She said Rhoades worked at a gas station on the rancheria.


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  • Jesse James

    What the Indians get up to on the rez is none of our business.

  • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

    Yahoo ran her picture and labeled her a “bully”, but you had to click into the article to discover that it had to do with Amerinds. Casual readers would think she was a “typical lower class white”. But I’d never suggest they have an agenda, heavens no.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      Her tribal name is ‘Thunder Butch’.

      • BonV.Vant

        buffalo face

    • AndrewInterrupted


      • Romulus

        Since when did lower class whites become Indians.
        See all of EDWARD S. CURTIS’ work for a historical pictorial on Amerindians.

      • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

        Is that a mullet, or just hair on the back of her neck? Either way, yikes is right.

      • I need some of Bon’s eye-bleach again.

    • John Frum

      me smellum rat

  • MekongDelta69

    She had come around the corner from a tribal meeting…

    Excuse me, but what planet are we on?

    • Homo_Occidentalis

      At least they haven’t forgotten what their tribe is, like most whites. Whites and American Indians occupy two extremes of tribalism (or the total absence of it). A prevailing view that lies somewhere in the middle, as was typical of whites before the 1960s, is what is needed for the white race to preserve itself and thrive.

      • Einsatzgrenadier

        I don’t think whites have necessarily forgotten who they are. Whites have been intimidated by the government and brainwashed by the media to suppress their natural ethnocentric tendencies. If anyone has forgotten anything, it’s the social engineers. They have forgotten that tribalism is biologically hard-wired. This tribal instinct will inevitably resurface when white racial interests are directly threatened by a rapidly increasing population of non-whites.

    • BonV.Vant

      teepees and sweat lodges are round, they don’t have corners

      • Katherine McChesney

        So are kivas, meeting places in Indian ruins.

  • dave

    Was she at diversity training in the tribal meeting?

  • Alexandra1973

    Little too much of the white man’s fire-water?

    • BonV.Vant

      a little too much testosterone too.

  • A family feud taken to a deadly conclusion. She wiped out almost 10 percent of her own tribe. Now she will face white man’s justice, which will probably be a lot easier on her than tribal justice, which would involve being tied to stakes on an anthill.

    • As long as tribes don’t attack us, their land is in their jurisdiction, not ours. If they determine by whatever their methods are, to turn her over to white courts, then maybe ok. Maybe not. If they determine to punish her by methods they decide on, then that is their business, not the business of soft liberals among the whites. We have to disown the actions of soft liberals among whites.

  • dd121

    And I care because….?

  • Conrad

    HA HA HA HA.

  • Whitetrashgang

    This is what happens on a reserve every weekend and is usually called a accident.Nice tank top, 50 bucks says she is wearing stretch pants.

    • Katherine McChesney

      tank top….the female version of a ‘wife beater’.

  • Spartacus

    From the comments section to the original article :

    “Tealdragon1 at 12:16 PM February 23, 2014:

    There’s more to this tragic story that isn’t
    being reported by the MEDIA, with that said, there is no excuse for
    killing people! The shooter was being evicted “Disenrolled” or as most
    citizens in world would call it having her citizenship ripped from her
    by the TRIBE; this is not simply a person being evicted from an
    apartment. What the tribe was trying to do would have taken her
    identity away and put an end to her ability to collect a major casino
    dividend check as well as her ability to access other US government
    aid. Although this tribe doesn’t have a Casino each member does
    receives a taste from the revenue sharing program. Tribes that do have
    a Casino like Table Mountain, Pala, and Chukchansi Gold Casino kick
    down a small portion of their funds so smaller tribes can still
    experience the Casino boom.

    • Sick of it

      A tribe focused on fortune over family? That reminds me of another group…

    • BonV.Vant

      live by the casino, die by the casino

    • BonV.Vant

      Right now the tribe is taking bets on whether or not she will will get murder or manslaughter or innocent by reason of insanity.

  • Germanicus

    Here is another non-White group that leads all others in masterful scams. They get all of the benefits of whatever part of the local, state and federal freebies are generally available plus some extries, like the Indian Health Service, plus exemption from all sorts of stuff that the rest of us have to bear and plus all their tax-free gimmicks and plus nice little monthly checks from tobacco, casino and other protected enterprises. They also, I think, now have asymmetric jurisdiction over Whites who come into the Indian police and judicial system, thanks to BHO. (I need to research that some more.). Don’t marry an Injun woman just to ham in on her status and then do her wrong– or whatever she claims is a wrong! Brother, you be in a hurt. I am getting tired of hearing about their land. As long as the politicians in Washington are shredding the Constitution to the point of no longer being in force, perhaps when it goes it will be be time to “renegotiate” the end of the treaties with the Indians. If they want to stay outside of the full community of the burdens of citizenship, then go it the full way. If they want in, then fine, but then they must be in all the way.

    • My understanding is that any felony that is committed on a reservation is instantly federal, but that misdemeanors are handled by tribal courts.

  • r j p

    Odd that none of them had the same surname.

  • Truth Teller

    Maybe the muslims have something with the face veils and robes. Note the purple hair dye, a pathetic attempt to be fashionable.

  • Truth Teller

    Modoc county will be part of N California if billionaire Tom Draper’s change California into 6 states goes through. I think part of the overall plan is to deport all White Californians up to the north eastern parts like Modoc well away from the coast. It is a great place for raising California’s biggest cash crop. The hunting is great as well. The Modoc deer are as big as ponies.

  • Truth Teller

    The rez system is great because they pretty much stay there. They are responsible for a lot of drunk driving deaths and injuries of Whites who live in he area but by and large they stay where they are. Unlike blacks they do not hunt us down. Unlike Hispanics and Asians they do not steal our jobs. They also have resisted the Jews. They own much of the land in the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming and the other projected White homeland states.
    If worse comes to worse, we might up living on Indian territory on long term leases.
    So keep the rez system. It means one less dysfunctional non White race to deal with.

    • I used to drive through New Mexico and Arizona, and never noticed anything wrong with the Navajo. I only met one of them in federal prison, and he was in for manslaughter – in what in his version sounded like self-defense. Now that we’ve heard about Mr. Dunn in Florida, Norman Sylvester’s story is more believable to me. Norman didn’t have a mean bone in his body, and when I was depressed, he urged me to pull myself together: “Cowboy-up”, he said. Coming from an injun, I thought that was hilarious. He got me laughing, anyway.

      • neshobanakni

        A common bumper sticker here on the rez – “Indian-Up!”

  • BonV.Vant

    Chaz Bono