Tarzan Actor Sues Over Son, Wife's 2019 Deaths

Wrongful death suit claims both were denied medical care
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2020 9:40 AM CDT
Tarzan Actor: Cops' Actions Led to Deaths of Son, Wife
This Dec. 28, 1987 file photo shows former “Tarzan” actor Ron Ely during an interview in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Actor Ron Ely alleges action taken by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office resulted in the deaths of his son and wife. That's per a wrongful death lawsuit filed in July and amended Sunday that raises numerous questions about the night of Oct. 15, 2019. The department said Cameron Ely, 30, fatally stabbed his mother, Valerie Lundeen, 60, before he "feigned being armed" and was shot more than 20 times by deputies outside the family's Hope Ranch Home. The suit filed on behalf of the 82-year-old former Tarzan star and his two adult daughters claims Cameron was "unarmed, nonviolent, and acting calmly" when deputies shot him without warning, per the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. Their suit claims shots were fired less than 20 seconds after deputies saw Cameron walking toward them with his hands up.

"Cameron was left to bleed out in the driveway for over 13 minutes before medics were permitted to assess him," the suit states. This happened around 9:40pm, an hour after Lundeen had been declared dead. Before that point, she'd been left on the dining room floor "without any medical treatment or care" for 30 minutes, according to the suit. Four responding deputies "did not know, and failed to check, if Valerie was alive when they arrived" without an emergency medical team, says the suit, which claims they "actively obstructed" medical personnel when they did finally arrive. The suit further alleges the 911 dispatcher "incorrectly" relayed information. Cameron had called 911 "because his mother was attacking his father," not the other way around, the suit claims. (More wrongful death stories.)

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