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Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office: suspect in deadly Hope Ranch stabbing wasn’t armed

Hope Ranch shooting

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office says the man who was killed by deputies following a deadly stabbing in Hope Ranch was not armed.

The incident happened around 8:15 p.m. on October 15 at the home of actor Ron Ely.

Deputies say they arrived on scene and found Ely's wife, Valerie Lundeen Ely, 62, dead. She had been stabbed multiple times, according to investigators.

Deputies say the Elys' son, 30-year-old Cameron Ely, was identified as the suspect in the killing.

Deputies searched the home and surrounding areas and eventually found him outside the home.

The sheriff's office says Cameron Ely told deputies that he had a gun, advanced towards the deputies, and motioned with his hands as if he were drawing a weapon.

Four deputies ended up firing a total of 24 rounds at Cameron Ely, killing him.

Deputies say they approached him after the shooting and realized he did not actually have a weapon.

None of the deputies were injured.

The sheriff's office says the four deputies involved in the shooting were: 

  • 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 
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Lindsay Zuchelli

Lindsay Zuchelli is the Executive Producer at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Lindsay, click here.


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