Tarzan star Ron Ely is suing the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department for fatally shooting his son and for allegedly leaving the actor’s wife — who was stabbed — in the lurch and neglecting to get her any medical help.
The 81-year-old and his daughter Kirsten are suing police and the city of Santa Barbara, Calif., for wrongful death, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, The New York Post reported on Thursday, October 1.
"The reprehensible conduct of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Deputies was egregious, entirely unreasonable, and, accordingly, unconstitutional," the lawsuit claimed.
On October 15, 2019, Ron’s son, Cameron Ely, stabbed his mom, Valerie Lundeen Ely, in their home. Deputies found Ron’s wife "suffering from several stab wounds," and she had an "obvious injury to her lung," the federal lawsuit noted.
Cameron initially called 911 and told them that his famous father had tried to attack his mother, however, it turned out that he was the suspect. No motives have been revealed.
"Despite the obvious need for medical care, deputies actively denied medical personnel access to her when they arrived on the scene," the lawsuit claimed, which also listed four officers as defendants.
"Decedent Valerie was left on the floor without any medical treatment or care … for over 30 minutes," the documents read. "Mrs. Ely died before she was provided any medical whatsoever." Ron claimed the deputies arrived to his house around 8:15 p.m., and his wife was pronounced dead at 8:42 p.m.
Meanwhile, Ron claimed that Cameron held up his hands in the air outside of the home but was "unarmed, suffering from severe injuries, and obviously not posing a threat to anyone," the suit said.
According to the suit, Cameron, 30, was hit 22 times by the cops "deliberately purposefully," and they "opened fire without warning."
"The shooting occurred less than 20 seconds after Defendant Deputies saw Decedent Cameron walk around the corner with his hands up, the universal act of surrender," the documents stated.
Cameron was bleeding from several stab wounds to his lower abdomen, the lawsuit said, but it’s unclear if he was attacked or if he hurt himself.
Sheriff’s officials claimed that Cameron announced he had a gun and "advanced" towards them and "motioned with his hands as if he were drawing a weapon." However, none of that is made clear in the audio recordings.
Ron claimed Cameron went without medical assistance for at least 13 minutes, and as a result, he died in the driveway. "Decedent Cameron was unarmed, nonviolent, and acting calmly during the entirety of the short encounter. He did not make any aggressive movements or furtive gestures nor did he utter any threats which would have led a reasonable Sheriff’s deputy to believe that he posed a risk of death or serious bodily injury to anyone," the documents stated.
The incident remains under criminal investigation, and the District Attorney’s Office is still reviewing the shooting.
Valerie and Ron were married for 35 years and shared three children: Kirsten, Kaitland and Cameron.