Santa Barbara Police Will Not Be Charged For Shooting A Man Who Killed His Mother

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The sheriff’s deputies involved in the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Cameron Ely in 2019 will not face charges, Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley reported Monday.

Cameron Ely, 30, was shot 22 times by the four deputies in what Dudley ruled a “justifiable homicide” in the incident investigation report.

Police arrived after Cameron Ely allegedly stabbed his 62-year-old mother, Valerie Lundeen Ely, after she reportedly tried to attack Cameron’s wheelchair-bound father at their home in Santa Barbara on Oct. 15, 2019, according to Dudley’s report. Four Santa Barbara deputies arrived on the scene around 15 minutes after a 911 call was made by Cameron.

Cameron’s father, Ron Ely, was found inside the home when officers arrived, he motioned towards Valerie and sobbed, according to Dudley’s report. The deputies began to search the home, while clearing the property officers found Cameron walking towards them on a long, dark driveway.

The deputies repeatedly told Cameron to get on the ground and to keep his hands up before he jumped up and yelled “I have a gun,” according to Dudley’s report. The deputies told investigators they heard Cameron “clear as day.”

“[I was] thinking he’s gonna kill me. He’s gonna kill Farley …. This is the scariest point in my life. I’m in fear of this guy … like fear for me, fear for my partners, um, you know, what he could do, what he could do to the public,” Deputy John Gruttadaurio said, according to Dudley’s report.

When the deputies searched Cameron, they found playing cards, rocks, a car key, an iPhone, a metal garden hose tap splitter, a plastic bag containing a white powder substance that tested positive for cocaine, and a bottle labeled liquid vitamins, according to Dudley’s report.

Dudley’s investigation found the deputies’ use of deadly force reasonable because Cameron did not comply with verbal commands and the deputies believed him to be a credible threat when he said that he had a gun.

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Joe C

Without the cocaine, he probably wouldn’t have “gone ape.”