Son of 'Tarzan' actor suspected in mother's murder was unarmed when killed by deputies

After deputies found his mother dead, Cameron Ely was identified as a suspect and told deputies he had a gun, but he was unarmed, officials said.

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By Phil Helsel and Diana Dasrath

The son of "Tarzan" actor Ron Ely who was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies after stabbing his mother to death was unarmed but told authorities otherwise before he was killed this month, according to authorities.

The Santa Barbara County, California, sheriff’s office said in a statement Tuesday that Cameron Ely, 30, "told deputies that he had a gun, advanced towards the deputies, and motioned with his hands as if he were drawing a weapon" during the deadly encounter Oct. 15.

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Four sheriff’s deputies fired a total of 24 rounds at the man, the sheriff’s office said.

American actor Ron Ely plays Tarzan circa 1967.Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images file

Deputies responded to Ron Ely’s home around 8:15 p.m. in the Hope Ranch section of the county in response to a 911 call, and they found Ely’s wife, Valerie Lundeen Ely, 62, dead with multiple stab wounds.

Cameron Ely was identified as the suspect, and deputies went looking for him in the residence and surrounding property. Cameron Ely was found outside the home and that's when he was fatally shot, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office statement does not detail a motive in the killing of Valerie Lundeen Ely.

Ron Ely, 81, was not harmed. He was the star of "Tarzan," which aired 57 episodes on NBC from 1966 to 1968.

The four sheriff's officials who fired during the incident were identified as a sergeant and three deputies, with experience ranging from 13 years, 10 months to 2 years of service with the sheriff's office. None were injured.