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Prosecutors Rule Fatal Officer Involved Shooting Of Actor's Son In Santa Barbara County Justified

Prosecutors say the fatal shooting of the son of a famous Hollywood actor by Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies was justified.  It happened in 2019, at the Hope Ranch home of actor Ron Ely.  He’s best known for his role on television in the 1960’s TV series “Tarzan.”

There was a disturbance at the family’s home.  Cameron Ely called 911, and told dispatchers that his mother had tried to attack his wheelchair bound father.  He said he defended his father, and hung up.  Deputies arriving at the scene found the body of the actor’s wife. 

She had been stabbed to death.  They say the actor was upset and hard to understand, but that it appeared he was saying their son was responsible for the attack.  Deputies searching the property encountered the 30 year old son.

Officers say he reached for his waist, and shouted he had a gun.  The officers opened fire, killing the man.  He didn’t have a gun.  Prosecutors say based on the son’s actions, the officers actions were reasonable.  Ely’s family filed a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office, claiming the shooting was unjustified.

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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