Tarzan actor Ron Ely loses lawsuit against Santa Barbara County

October 24, 2022

Ron Ely


Tarzan actor Ron Ely lost a federal civil rights lawsuit last week against the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office over the shooting death of his son in 2019, according to a jury verdict on Friday.

The lawsuit accused the sheriff’s office and four deputies of negligent and excessive deadly force in the shooting death of 30-year-old Cameron Ely, the 84-year-old actor’s son. The lawsuit also accuses county staff of failing to provide timely medical care to Cameron Ely and his 62-year-old mother Valerie Lundeen Ely.

Responding to a report of a domestic dispute on Oct. 15, 2019, deputies found Valerie Ely dead from multiple stab wounds. Deputies quickly identified Cameron Ely as a suspect in his mother’s murder.

Outside the home, deputies found Cameron Ely. The suspect told deputies that he had a gun, walked towards the deputies, and motioned with his hands as if he were drawing a weapon, according to the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department.

Four deputies responded firing a total of 24 rounds, killing Cameron Ely.

Using a ballistic shield, deputies approached Cameron Ely and discovered he had pretended to have a gun, however he was not armed.

The 84-year-old actor was not harmed during the altercation. Ron Ely was best know for portraying Tarzan in the 1966 NBC series Tarzan.