The man suspected of stabbing his mother to death before being shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies earlier this month was not in possession of a weapon at the time of the shooting, authorities said.
On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department released the names of the deputies involved in the shooting. The four deputies involved were: Sgt. Desiree Thome, who had 12 years, 10 months of service; Deputy Jeremy Rogers, who had 13 years, 10 months of service; Deputy Phillip Farley, who had 13 years, five months of service; and Deputy John Gruttadaurio, who had two years of service, according to Raquel Zick, sheriff’s spokeswoman.
The deputies were placed on paid administrative leave following the shooting, authorities said.
Around 8:15 p.m. Oct. 15, authorities responded to a family disturbance at the home of actor Ron Ely. Deputies contacted Mr. Ely and discovered his wife, Valeria Lundeen Ely, 62, deceased with multiple stab wounds inside the home. Deputies identified the murder suspect as the Ely’s son, 30-year-old Cameron Ely.
Deputies searched the residence and surrounding area for Cameron Ely. He was located outside the home.
“The suspect told deputies he had a gun, advanced towards the deputies, and motioned with his hands as if he were drawing a weapon,” Ms. Zick said. “In response, four deputies fired a total of 24 rounds from their service weapons, fatally wounding the suspect.
“When deputies were able to safely approached (sic) Cameron using a ballistic shield, they found that he had feigned being armed and did not have a weapon,” Ms. Zick said, adding that none of the deputies were injured in the incident.
The sheriff’s office is conducting a criminal investigation into the homicide. Autopsy reports on the victims are pending.
Cameron Ely attended San Marcos and, up until last week, held several passing records for the Royals football team. The 6-foot-6 quarterback is remembered by current and former school staff as being polite and well spoken.
Will Gonzales, who was the head coach for the Royals from 2001 to 2005, told the News-Press that Cameron was the most polite young man he had come across – both on the field and during his 10 years as a teacher.
“If you would have known him, he behaved the way you would want your son or daughter to behave,” Mr. Gonzales said. “Everyone at school liked Cameron. Not for a second did anyone think it would go in this direction, and not for a second did people not think he would figure things out.”