The Cherokee Indian Police are investigating an apparent robbery/homicide that occurred on Sunday, Sept. 30 at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, located at 568 Paint Town Rd.
The Cherokee Tribal Dispatch received a call at 9:58pm, from a local resident reporting shots being fired near the residences of Reuben Taylor Road. This residential area is in close proximity to the Fairfield Inn & Suites.
Cherokee Indian Police Officers found Barbara Preidet (Preet), 76, of Shelbyville, IN in the parking lot of the Fairfield Inn & Suites. Other officers and the Tribal EMS responded to the scene.
Witnesses said a person with a black mask and dark clothing grabbed a purse from the victim and fired a weapon. They also stated the person was thought to have fled toward a light blue or gray full size truck, possibly a Ford or Dodge extended cab. The truck was last seen leaving the parking lot traveling north on US 19.
Principal Chief Michel Hicks stated, “I am shocked by the events which occurred last night in Cherokee. Senseless violence is unacceptable in any community and I am committed to supporting the Cherokee Indian Police Department in locating the suspect in this crime and bringing them to justice. I also want to express my heartfelt sympathy to the family of the victim. Our Nation will continue to remember the family in prayer during this time.”
Cherokee Chief of Police Ben Reed commented, “This is a tragic situation and our department will utilize all available resources to solve this crime. This is a cowardly act and the person responsible will be brought to justice. Please pray for all of the people involved.”
The Cherokee Indian Police and the NC State Bureau of Investigations are investigating the incident as a homicide stemming from an apparent robbery.
Investigators are requesting anyone who may have been in the area or who have information to contact DetectiveSean Birchfield(828) 269-6601 or Cherokee Tribal Dispatch 497-4131.
The Cherokee Indian Police Department is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
– Cherokee Indian Police Department