Tarzan Actor Ron Ely Disputes Santa Barbara DA’s Finding that Police Were Justified in Shooting His Son

tarzan ron ely

Ron Ely as Tarzan (By NBC Television – ebayfrontreleaseback, Public Domain, Link)

Last year, Cameron Ely, son of TV Tarzan Ron Ely, fatally stabbed his mother. When police arrived, they found the younger Ely outside the family home in Santa Barbara County. Police claim that Cameron told them he had a gun and made a motion as if to draw. They then fired 24 rounds, killing him. No gun was found.

Now, after a lengthy investigation, Santa Barbara District Attorney has ruled that the police were justified in using deadly force against Ely, but his family disputes that.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley  (AP Photo/Randall Benton)

From the Associated Press:

The attorney for “Tarzan” actor Ron Ely and his family has challenged a Santa Barbara County District Attorney report that the fatal shooting of his son was justifiable.

Attorney John Burris said in a news conference Thursday that Cameron Ely never claimed to have a gun before deputies opened fire in the 2019 confrontation. He said Cameron Ely surrendered with his hands up.

An investigation found that Cameron Ely, 30, stabbed his mother, 62-year-old Valerie Lundeen Ely, to death before he was shot outside his father’s home in Hope Ranch, a suburb of luxury homes outside Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department said the deputies found Ely outside the home. The agency said Cameron Ely told them he had a gun and that he moved his hands as if he were grabbing a weapon.

The deputies fired 24 rounds at Cameron Ely. No weapon was found.

Last week, no charges were filed against the deputies who shot and killed Cameron Ely. The district attorney described the deputies’ actions in the shooting as a justifiable homicide.

But Burris said the deputies “engaged in the unjustified use of deadly force.”

“If he didn’t have a gun or he didn’t have a weapon, what was the basis of shooting him?” Burris said. “They may have very well thought he was involved in some other activity involving the mom. But that’s not a basis to shoot and kill him. You have to have a lawful basis to do that.”

Ron Ely, 81, played the title character on the NBC series “Tarzan,” which ran from 1966 to 1968. He also hosted the Miss America pageant between 1980-81.

The actor was home at the time of the stabbing, but there is no report that he was injured.

From the Santa Barbara Independent:

“As we grieved our mother and brother over the past year, we were unable to pick up the pieces due the intentional deception, ineptitude, and disregard for human life demonstrated by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department and the conspiratorial obstruction of truth and outright lies put into print by the Santa Barbara DA’s Office,” said [Cameron’s sister] Kirsten as she trembled and read from prepared remarks. “The audio recording is conclusive proof that the statement that the DA released saying the shooting was justified is nothing more than a series of lies strung together to protect the deputies from their actions and to conceal the truth of what really happened to Cameron.”

comments

  1. avatar guest says:

    That was SBPD’s excitement for the decade.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      yeah, probably…pretty laid back town…but 24 rds is pretty definitive!….

      1. avatar Roger J says:

        I wasn’t there and neither was you. Monday , Tuesday, and Wednesday morning quarterback’s are a dime a dozen. If there were numerous cops there, and they believed this azz was drawing down, on them if he was stuck by that many bullets its not like they had time to communicate with each other. Its about survival.

  2. avatar Vahn G says:

    So….I guess, don’t stab a defenseless woman to death and then threaten cops with a gun – real or imagined. It’s called “threat of violence”. Too bad, so sad. Another dead Democrat. Not that that will prevent him from voting for “Blieden”.

    1. avatar ROBERT POWELL says:

      all that and besides, California is dead-broke, they just saved a show-trial expense..and the deputies might have had a flash-back and seen the kid with the 1921-a2 Thompson ….

  3. avatar Daniel S. says:

    What the heck, the Actor (father) was home at the time of the stabbing . . . . and the did what to stop it, or contain the son after the incident ? ? ? Something seems to be waaaaaay out if whack here . . . besides the stability of the son.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      He’s 81 and was never actually Tarzan. He just played him on TV.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        But he was classic. The only two actors I’ve ever heard give a “good” Tarzan yell were Ron Ely and Carol Burnett.

        1. avatar enuf says:

          That they were. Somewhere there’s a video of Ron Ely and Carol Burnett both doing the Tarzan yell. Great sense of humor, funny as hell.

          It is possible Carol was better at the yell, just a bit.

          But Ron could swing from trees and fight lions and tigers and bears like nobody else.

          🙂

        2. avatar CGA says:

          I think Johnnie Weissmuller was the best Tarzan.

        3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          weissmuller ate dinner at our house way back when i was a tot. also a swimmer, he came with friends of my family, adolph kiefer and dobbie burton.

          #apemanlivesmatter

        4. avatar Elmer Fudd says:

          Bo Derek was the best Jane ever.

        5. avatar Weapon Of War says:

          Bo Derek was the best everything ever.

        6. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          lousy conversationalist, tho.

        7. avatar Rattlerjake says:

          tsbhoa.p.jr — Conversation isn’t where her value lies!

      2. avatar enuf says:

        Exactly. The old gentleman could have been napping. Or out back in the pool teaching a crocodile to do the backstroke. Crap can happen fast, doesn’t matter who you are.

  4. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    It’s a white guy. Nothing to see here. Move along. People only care if police shoot a black guy.

    1. avatar Warlocc says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Imagine if cops dumped 24 rounds into an unarmed black man tomorrow.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        LA would be on fire. Again. More OT!

  5. avatar Paul says:

    I always have a problem when multiple cops do a mag dump into a suspect. In fact, a single cop mag dumping is suspicious. Not every deranged whacko is a Bonny and Clyde situation – or they shouldn’t be. I understand adrenaline, I understand confusion, I understand fear – but I also understand discipline. Where is the discipline with multiple mag dumps?

    1. avatar DamnYankee says:

      So, before going in to a situation, keeping in.ind what you get dispatched to may not be what you actually walk in to (speaking with experience), they should rock paper scissors who gets to shoot if necessary? Not everything you get sent to is going to allot time for a briefing. OR maybe they (the officers) should tell the attacker to stop what they are doing until they can decide who should shoot? “Hey DONT reach for that gun you may or may not have, give us a second to talk to eachother!” You cop haters dont know $#!+ about making a split second decision when your life is in danger.

      1. avatar Rev. Philip E. Evans, CJ says:

        Come on! You are to take control of the situation. To neutralize the threat! A “double-tap” may be called for if the situation warrants, but firing 24 rounds is complete insanity when you haven’t even seen the other person’s weapon! Even in military situations, you don’t empty a complete mag into someone without there being sufficient threat! It cannot be justified and it should never be condoned!

        1. avatar Bill says:

          Have you ever shot someone? Have you ever shot someone with a handgun? I have. Most of the time when you shoot somebody with a handgun you can’t even tell whether or not you’ve hit them and typically they keep moving around and screeching or they just run off.

        2. avatar Vahn G says:

          It wasn’t justified? How do you know? Weee you there?

    2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      I’m not well informed enough of the situation, given the rather sketchy details released so far. But I tend to agree that 24 rounds fired without any sight of a weapon is suspect. I can understand perhaps two or three shots fired due to an adrenaline-pumped cop with his finger on the trigger and not exercising complete control, but 24? That’s far too much to be one cop. That’s at least two of them mag dumping, or more likely four or five LEOs firing a total of 24, which is still a lot per individual person.

      In every training course I’ve ever taken, the instructor(s) have always focused on a controlled pair to the thoracic (center mass), then a slight pause while still on target, and THEN another controlled pair if necessary. Doesn’t seem to me like 24 rounds was necessary for a reportedly unarmed suspect, regardless of whether he/she had recently committed violence prior to the incident.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        they only hit him once…

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Read my comment above again. I never made any mention of shots on target. The point was the very fact that 24 rounds were fired.

          But now that you bring it up, it also highlights the poor control and marksmanship, even under the claimed “stress”. That means if one cop hit Cameron, then the other ones missed every shot they fired.

        2. avatar LifeSavor says:

          Tsbhoa,

          Is that true?

        3. avatar frank speak says:

          which makes you wonder where the rest of those slugs went…..

        4. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          no idea, boys. shiteposting as usual.
          i apologise for briefly entertaining myself.
          the possibility (and partial probability) remain humorous to some.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      fire-discipline?….obviously there is none…seems like the more bullets you give them…the more they use…

    4. avatar Marty says:

      Paul, it’s obvious you’ve never been in such a situation. A mag dump is not at all unusual. I presume you would think a cylinder dump would be the same. That was my case, but that was back in the 70’s when a cop was not run under the bus at every opportunity as they are today.

  6. avatar Randy J Jones says:

    No mention of video. That could really solve a lot. I can remember watching Ron as Tarzen, one of my favorite shows back then. They had a number of good shows back then.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Videos from the copcam have been posted, but it was nighttime and quite dark.

  7. avatar Debbie W. says:

    That’s right some spoiled brat stabs his own mother to death and the perp acts like an azzhat when the police arrive and gets smoked…properly. To add insult to injury Tarzan gets upset with the police. By all accounts Tarzan raised a monkey instead of a son.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Sounds like you have more information on this event than the rest of us, in order to make such a brazen declaration. Care to elaborate?

    2. avatar Marty says:

      I love it, way too funny.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    A neuropathologist at Boston University did a post-mortem on Cameron’s brain and diagnosed him as having Stage 1 CTE. The tox analysis of Cameron’s blood showed he had speed, pot, and 0.04% alcohol in his system when he died.

    He may have been asymptomatic, but probably had some mild impairment from the CTE. He wasn’t drunk at the time that he killed his mother. Although he didn’t have a lot of drugs in his system, he still may have been under the influence.

    After brutally murdering his mom (she was beaten and stabbed), it sure looks like Cameron decided on suicide by cop as his best way out.

    1. avatar atavistic says:

      I’m betting early carrier of Covid.

  9. avatar A. C. says:

    “If he didn’t have a gun or he didn’t have a weapon, what was the basis of shooting him?”

    If the police had only known. Another example of perfect hindsight, viewed from the unhurried comfort and security of a nice, safe office.

    1. avatar Angry Dad says:

      Which office and the posh car you use to commute to and fro’ requires serious coin for the acquisition and upkeep, which may occur if you keep on message re the evil cops and their deep pocketed town wrongly shooting innocent Trayvon, oops, Cameron, and convince sufficient people of your blarney, and oh by the way did you know the same lawyer has in fact filed lawsuit by the family against the cops and the town? Well, Breonna Taylor‘s family manage to monetize her demise to the tune of $12 million, that’s a lot of coin, and many of the other dead Afros of note have by their passing enriched their families far, far more than they ever could have otherwise during life and far more than they were actually worth no matter what the circumstances of their death. Apart from professional sports, it’s the only other money train in town, And while it should be difficult to find volunteers to play, apparently it’s not that difficult, as one imagines the volunteers don’t really understand what’s going on when they encounter with attitude armed policemen nor do the taxpayers. The only ones who really know what they’re doing is the armed cops, who are determined to finish their shift in the vertical position.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        shantytown policy players, to paraphrase.

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    Golly Ron Ely called 5-O on his kid…what did he expect?!? Like those folks in Chiraq who called Chiraq’s finest on their crazy kid home from college. He swung a baseball bat at scaredycat po-leece and they killed him AND the unrelated gal behind him. Moral? NEVER call cop’s😕😕😕😕 This was all on Inside Edition yesterday. Ely’s daughter’s also had a “theory” their dead brother didn’t murder mom. An intruder supposedly…

    1. avatar billy-bob says:

      Does anyone know where OJ was at the time?

    2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      inside edition. ha.

    3. avatar Joseph says:

      Well if it was on Inside Edition we KNOW it’s factual. Fuck me twice….

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        those two broads wouldn’t lie to you…

  11. avatar jwm says:

    Tell me you have a gun. Threaten to use it on me. Reach into your clothes like you’re going for a gun.

    And then you have the balls to look surprised when I shoot you?

  12. avatar Hannibal says:

    Forgive me if I don’t give a shit if someone who just stabbed someone to death gets shot by police.

    Yeah, if he was literally surrendering with his hands up and was executed, I would have a problem with it. But years of seeing that narrative get busted when it’s trotted out by relatives makes me give it no sway.

  13. avatar Anymouse says:

    It sounds more like suicide by cop to me. Threaten officers, tell them you have a gun, pretend to draw imaginary gun, trick them into firing on you. No surprise, mission accomplished.

  14. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

    Hands up. Don’t shoot!
    Same old BS lies you always hear from the relatives of the perp. Is there a handbook for the newly deceased they use?

  15. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    No gun? Then every government employee who fired should die in prison. There was
    no threat so this was cold blooded murder.

    1. avatar Vahn G says:

      @Chris, Just a truly moronic statement.

  16. avatar Country Boy says:

    Poor Ron Ely, lost his wife and son all in one day. Prayers sent.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      doesn’t seem like there’s much stress on non-lethal these days….except for the rioters, ..who still seem to object to it….

  17. avatar GS650G says:

    At least Ron Ely doesn’t have to fear his son hurting him now.

  18. avatar Joseph says:

    The kid stabbed his own mother to death. I’m sure this was probably not the first indication that the kid was a problem. And now the police and DA are lying about having to kill him. Go back to swinging in the trees dip shit. You and your kid are losers.s

  19. avatar adverse6 says:

    Cops should be given one bullet each.

    1. avatar Vahn G says:

      @adverse6: Cuz that’s all you need right?

  20. avatar Randy says:

    Perhaps it’s time to unarm cops, at least in commiefornia.

    1. avatar Vahn G says:

      @Randy: Yes they should be disarmed right after they disarm you, eh?

  21. avatar AmericaFirst says:

    So while I may personally think 24 rounds into a person is excessive we also need to consider reality. BTW, just think what will happen to you Mr/Mrs citizen putting 24 rounds into another person. You will be arrested and charged.
    Shooting someone center body does NOT mean they drop to the ground. Thats the hollywood version. Time and again in home defense situations, the perp is shot and runs down the street to eventually die. Most body mass hits, if they dont cripple you, mean you have to bleed out. They can continue to move, run, fight while they bleed. Add in mental illness with or without narcotics and they sometimes dont even feel the rounds hit them. Thats what these guys are facing.
    Now I didnt read how man rounds hit the person, but historically LEO’s are good for about 30% of their shots being on target. I wouldnt be surprised if it was only one round.

  22. avatar thebronze says:

    He murdered his mom and then he did suicide-by-cop.

    It’s not Rocket-Surgery.

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