Officers Identified in Shooting of Unarmed Hope Ranch Murder Suspect
Law enforcement on the scene of Hope Ranch murder investigation on October 15, 2019 (Photo: John Palminteri)
By edhat staff
The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office has released the names of the officers involved in the Hope Ranch shooting of an unarmed murder suspect earlier this month.
At 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call at the home of actor Ron Ely in Hope Ranch.
Upon arrival, deputies contacted Ron Ely and discovered his wife, Valerie Lundeen Ely, 62, deceased with multiple stab wounds inside the home. While on the scene, deputies identified the murder suspect as their son, 30-year-old Cameron Ely.
Deputies searched the residence and surrounding area for Cameron. During the search, Cameron was located outside the home. According to the Sheriff's Office, he told deputies that he had a gun and advanced towards the deputies, motioning with his hands as if he were drawing a weapon. In response, four deputies fired a total of 24 rounds from their service weapons, fatally wounding the suspect.
When deputies were able to safely approach Cameron using a ballistic shield, they discovered did not have a weapon. None of the deputies were injured during the confrontation with the suspect, reports the Sheriff's Office.
The four deputies involved in the shooting were identified as:
- Sheriff’s Sergeant Desiree Thome: 12 years, 10 months of service
- Sheriff’s Deputy Special Duty Jeremy Rogers: 13 years, 10 months of service
- Sheriff’s Deputy Phillip Farley: 13 years, 5 months of service
- Sheriff’s Deputy John Gruttadaurio: 2 years of service
Ely attended San Marcos High School before transferring to Phillips Exeter Academy, a prestigious boarding school in New Hampshire. He was reportedly an accomplished football player where he played at Harvard.
From there, he’d go to Harvard where at one point he was a member of the football team. In a Harvard Crimson article in 2007, Ely was described as a player with “a GPA above 4.0, questionable arm strength and supreme intelligence.” He graduated from the Ivy League college in 2012 with a degree in psychology.
Ron Ely played a range of television roles in the 1960s but was best known for "Tarzan," which aired from 1966 to 1968. He also had recurring or guest roles in notable shows such as "The Love Boat," "Wonder Woman," and a revival of "Sea Hunt" in the 1980s. He hosted the Miss America pageant in 1980 and 1981 before retiring from acting in 2001.
In 1984, Ron Ely married former Miss Florida Valerie Lundeen. Together they have three children, Kirsten, Kaitland, and Cameron.
October 15, 2019: Wife and Son Killed in Tarzan Actor's Hope Ranch Home