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Report Says Murder Suspect Killed By Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Deputies Pretended He Was Armed

Authorities say a murder suspect shot to death by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies was pretending he was armed when they encountered him, and opened fire. It happened October 15th, during a domestic disturbance call at the Hope Ranch home of actor Ron Ely.

Deputies arriving at the scene found the body of Ely’s wife, Valerie Lundeen Ely. She had been stabbed to death. The actor was unhurt.  They identified the couple’s son, Cameron Ely, as a suspect. Deputies found him outside the home.

Officers say the 30 year old man said he was armed, advanced towards them, and lifted his hands as if he was drawing a weapon. Four officers opened fire, killing Ely. They then discovered he was unarmed.

The senior Ely is best known for playing “Tarzan” in a 1960’s TV series.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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