Respected Tribal Elder Gunned Down and Killed on His Property

Gaylen D. Lee

Published July 8, 2019

NORTH FORK, Calif. — The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California is mourning the tragic loss of a respected tribal elder and author who was violently gunned down on Saturday night.

Gaylen D. Lee, 70, was identified Monday by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office as the victim who was shot and killed after an altercation involving the alleged shooter racing around Mr. Lee’s property. The shooter was identified as 46-year-old Robert Eugene Moye Jr., who was living in a structure on the property. Moye was arrested by law enforcement.

“To watch your hero be taken away from you there’s nothing you could do about it, I wish I could have, it didn’t happen that way,” says Michael Lee Sr., the victim’s nephew told the “”

On Monday, the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians issued the following statement:

“The North Fork Rancheria is deeply shaken and saddened by news of the death of our beloved tribal elder, citizen, and employee Mr. Gaylen D. Lee. His passing is a great loss and tragedy to the families involved, our Tribe, and our entire community.

“The Tribal Council of the North Fork Rancheria would like to express our deepest sympathy and support to Mr. Lee’s family as well as all the tribal citizens., North Fork neighbors, and countless others that knew and loved him over his many years of service and care to our community.”

In 1999, Mr. Lee wrote “Walking Where We Lived,” a personal history that involves six generations of his family and the utlimate survival of the Nim (North Fork Mono) Indians who have lived for centuries in a remote region of California’s Sierra Nevada

North Fork, the home of the Rancheria,  is located some 45 miles north of Fresno, California.

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