The moment police arrived at the home of Tarzan actor Ron Ely after his wife was stabbed to death by their son has been released by the star’s family.
In footage from the killing in October last year two officers can be seen entering the Santa Barbara house in darkness, approaching the wheelchair bound Ely, now 82.
Using flashlights one cop asks the actor: ‘Sir, what’s going on?’ As they turn the corner the body of Ron’s wife Valerie, 62, comes into view. One officer can be heard to say: ‘Oh my god, Jesus. Clear the house.’
It was later determined the couple’s son Cameron, 30, had stabbed his mom to death; he was later shot 22 times on the grounds of the family home and died on the scene. No motive for the killing has been released.
On Thursday the Ely family released new footage from the night of the incident with the couple’s two daughters holding a press conference at their family home.
In one clip Cameron is told ‘keep your hands up’ before he is shot by officers. Additional footage shows police handcuffing him as he lays motionless on the ground.
In footage from the killing in October last year two officers can be seen entering the California house in darkness, approaching the wheelchair bound Ely, then 81
Using flashlights one cop asks the actor: ‘Sir, what’s going on?’ As they turn the corner the body of Ron’s wife Valerie, 62, comes into view. One officer can be heard to say: ‘Oh my god’
Tarzan actor Ron Ely announced he was suing Santa Barbara sheriff’s office over the death of his son, right, and wife at the family’s California home. The couple are pictured left
Both Cameron and his mother were pronounced dead at the scene, with their bodies being removed by the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office the following day.
Ely was not hurt during the altercation but was taken for an evaluation at a nearby hospital before being released the following day.
Californian investigators last week concluded that police were justified in shooting dead Cameron Ely.
On Thursday the Ely family held a press conference about the deaths of Cameron and Valerie
The couple’s two daughters held a press conference at their family home
The couple’s daughters, Kirsten (left) and Kaitland (right) spoke at today’s press conference.
Kirsten Ely speaks at the press conference, flanked by her sister Kaitland (right), and attorneys John L. Burris (far left), and DeWitt M. Lacy (far right)
That came following news Ron, best known for playing Tarzan from 1966-68, is suing police and the city of Santa Barbara for wrongful death and unspecified damages.
Ron says unarmed Cameron was surrendering when he was shot 22 times by officers; a lawsuit argued Valerie was left to die by deputies who failed to check if she was still alive and took 30 minutes to get medical help.
‘The reprehensible conduct of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Deputies was egregious, entirely unreasonable, and, accordingly, unconstitutional,’ the claim alleged.
When officers arrived, around 8:30pm, they set out to search for the 6’5″ Cameron in the grounds of the Hope Ranch mansion.
The Office of the Santa Barbara District Attorney said that sheriff’s deputies ‘acted reasonably in his/her use of deadly force’.
Ron Ely’s resident in Santa Barbara where his son stabbed to death his mother before being shot dead by police
It was later determined the couple’s son Cameron, 30, had stabbed his mom to death; he was later shot 22 times on the grounds of the family home and died on the scene
On Thursday the Ely family released new footage from the night of the incident. In one clip Cameron is told ‘keep your hands up’ before he is shot by officers. Additional footage shows police handcuffing him as he lays motionless on the ground
Officials say in the report that two deputies encountered a ‘disheveled’ Cameron on a dark driveway during a search of the 1.5-acre property, with one officer noting that the suspect had a knife wound on his neck.
‘Both deputies saw that Ely had blood on him and believed he was the suspect in Valerie’s murder,’ the report states.
‘Both deputies pointed their gun at Ely. At least one of them illuminated him with the light on his firearm.
‘The deputies yelled multiple times at Ely to get down on the ground and to keep his hands up.’
They said that the athlete ‘suddenly sprang upward’ towards the deputies, bending forwards and moving his hand to his waist while yelling: ‘I have a gun!’
Cameron was then struck with multiple bullets.
According to the report, Cameron was ‘moving and moaning’ on the floor when they approached him, and checked for weapons.
They discovered he was unarmed, but did have drugs on him which later turned out to be cocaine.
He also had on him a small plastic bottle labeled liquid vitamins.
Valerie and Ron had been married for 35 years and had three children together, Kirsten, Kaitland, pictured Thursday, and Cameron
On Thursday the Ely family released new reconstruction footage of Cameron’s shooting
An official is pictured removing the body of Cameron Ely from the scene in October 2019
‘All four deputies reported that they feared Ely had a weapon until the point they handcuffed him, turned him onto his back, and pat searched him,’ the report continues.
‘The medics arrived very quickly because they had been staging on the street by the top of the driveway. Medics pronounced Ely dead on-scene.’
One of the most recent photos of Cameron shows him at his sister Kaitland’s 2016 wedding.
It was unclear how Cameron spent his time. Records show he was licensed as a security guard, according to the LA Times.
He was the first to call police on the night of the killings, placing a 911 call at approximately 8pm.
Ron Ely, Cameron’s father, played Tarzan from 1966-68
In audio obtained by the Blast, the operator can be heard saying he had spoken to a young male who said his ‘father tried to attack the mother’.
The operator adds that when the authorities called back the caller sounded ‘out of breath, unintelligible and crying’.
In a subsequent call, Ely identified his wife’s killer as his son. Responding officers found Cameron hiding in the grounds and shot him dead at approximately 9.40pm.
Valerie and Ron had been married for 35 years and had three children together, Kirsten, Kaitland and Cameron.
Ely featured in a number of TV appearances during the 1960s but found his break playing the lead role in the 1966 NBC series Tarzan.
He also played the title role in 1975 movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.
Valerie and Ron had been married for 35 years and had three children together, Kirsten, Kaitland and Cameron
As well as a career studded with occasional parts on TV, Ely hosted the Miss America pageant between 1979 and 1981. He retired from acting in 2001 but did return for a part in a TV movie called Expecting Amish in 2014.
The famed actor said he finished with his on-screen career to spend time with his kids.
At the time of her death, Lundeen and Ely were living in quiet retirement at their luxury home which boasts its own tennis court and swimming pool.
Musclebound Tarzan who did his own stunts and won the hearts of baby-boomers
Ron Ely, 81, played the title character on the NBC series Tarzan, which ran from 1966 to 1968.
The tall, musclebound actor was not quite as well-known as Johnny Weismuller, the Olympic swimmer who played Tarzan, the character created by novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs, in movies in the 1930s and 1940s.
But Ely formed the image of the shirtless, loincloth-wearing character remembered by many in the baby-boom generation.
Ely said in interviews that he did his own stunts on the show, working directly and precariously with the tigers, chimps and other wild animals that were Tarzan’s friends and servants.Ely retired from acting to focus on his family in 2001.
Ely retired from acting to focus on his family in 2001. He is pictured here in December 1987
Ely’s Tarzan didn’t speak in the monosyllabic grunts often associated with the character. He was instead an educated bachelor who had grown sick of civilization and had returned to African jungle where he was raised.
Ely also played the title character in the 1975 action film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, but otherwise had mostly small roles in TV and films including the 1958 movie musical South Pacific.
He was host of the Miss America pageant in 1980 and 1981 and later married Valerie Ely, a former Miss Florida. The couple had three children.
Ely retired from acting to focus on his family in 2001. But he returned briefly in 2014 in the TV movie Expecting Amish.