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Homicide suspect killed by law enforcement at Tarzan actor’s Hope Ranch home

Bryce Hanamoto

Two people are dead following a homicide and late night shootout with police in Hope Ranch Tuesday night.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 4100 block of Mariposa in Hope Ranch for a report of a homicide.

As our news crew was on the scene, the sound of distant gunfire was captured by their camera.

My videographer Oliver Forster captured sounds of gunfire outside #HopeRanch home on Tuesday night before 10 pm

— TRACY L. LEHR (@KEYTNC3Tracy) October 16, 2019

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Erik Raney said they were called to reports of a domestic dispute in the area around 8:15 p.m.

Deputies found the elderly woman killed at the home of 1966 ‘Tarzan’ actor Ron Ely. Cause of the death was not immediately released.

Lt. Raney confirmed the suspect was killed in an officer-involved shooting after deputies arrived on scene. Raney could not say if the woman has any relation to the actor.

Nearby homes were advised to shelter in place as law enforcement investigated. Santa Barbara Deputies initially called in air support to help with the search of the suspect.

“We wanted to make sure all the residents were safe while we searched the area,” Lt. Erik Raney said. “We had initially called in the air support unit and neighboring law enforcement agencies to come help in the search and when we were able to locate the suspect on the property of the homicide, and after the confrontation, we lifted the shelter in place. We don’t believe there is any further threat to the public.”

Deputies were searching the property when they came across the suspect. Sheriff’s officials said the suspect was posing a threat when multiple deputies opened fire.

“We don’t know exactly how many shots were fired. We did have several deputies that were involved in the shooting. Fortunately all of our deputies are OK,” Lt. Erik Raney said.

According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriffs Office, the deputies involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave. There was a disabled elderly man inside the home at the time of the shooting. He was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. There is no word if that man was Ron Ely.

“Our investigators aren’t deep enough into the investigation to confirm all that, but that is the same information that we have that it is that very home,” Lt. Erik Raney said. “If in fact that is the case, the actor himself is OK. If he is in fact the elderly gentleman, he is alive and well in the home. All is I can say at this point is that the call was of a family disturbance, but we don’t have any confirmation of the relationship of the homicide victim to the suspect who was confronted by deputies.”

TMZ reported Wednesday morning that the victim of the homicide was Valerie Lundeen Ely, Ron Ely’s wife.

The suspect, who was shot and killed by law enforcement, might also be related to the actor, according to TMZ’s report. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed that the suspect was Ely’s son, 30-year-old Cameron Ely.

In dispatch audio obtained by the entertainment news publication, a first responder is heard saying an elderly man had called and that his son may have been involved in the incident.


Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

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