Woman opens fire on tribal office

Los Angeles - Four people were killed and two others critically wounded when a woman opened fire at a Native American tribal office near the Oregon border in Northern California on Thursday, police said.

A 44-year-old woman identified as Sherie Lash, also known as Sherie Rhoades, was arrested at the Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Office on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, a spokeswoman for the Alturas police department said.

The attack took place during an eviction hearing at a building owned by a Native American tribe, police told Reuters.

Four people were shot and killed in the building and two others were wounded, one of them possibly with a knife, as they tried to escape, the force added.

Two women, ages 19 and 45, and two men aged 30 and 50, died, authorities said.

The two victims who survived the attack, which took place at about 3.30pm Pacific time (23h30 GMT), were airlifted to hospitals in critical condition,.

Lash, of Cedarville, California, was held at the Modoc County Jail, a prison official said.

Alturas is in remote north-eastern California, almost 70km south of the Oregon border.

Around 35 members of the Northern Paiute group live on 11 hectares at The Cedarville Rancheria, according to its website.

The tribal office, in Alturas, about 50km west of Cedarville, is where “day-to-day business is conducted and tribal events are held”, the website said.