Cameron Ely, who was fatally shot by police, graduated from Harvard in 2012

By Greg Hanlon Joelle Goldstein
October 17, 2019 11:40 AM
Cameron Ely, Ron Ely
Myspace; Matthew Rettenmund/SplashNews.com

The California man who stabbed his mother to death and then tried to blame his actor father was a former quarterback on the Harvard University football team who graduated with a degree in psychology.

Cameron Ely, 30, the son of Tarzan actor Ron Ely, was fatally shot by police who responded to the family’s Hope Ranch home Tuesday evening, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to PEOPLE.

In Tuesday’s 911 call, which was obtained by The Blast, the emergency dispatcher is heard saying that a “male reporting party” placed the call and claimed that the “father tried to attack the mother.”

The dispatcher went on to note that “someone defended someone” and then the male hung up the phone. When she called back, a man responded who sounded “out of breath, unintelligible, and crying.”

Responding officers found Valerie Ely, 62, dead at the scene and, after speaking to the 81-year-old Ron, located Cameron outside the home. A sheriff’s office spokesperson told PEOPLE that Cameron “posed a threat,” which prompted four deputies to fire “their service weapons at the suspect, fatally wounding him.”

RELATED: Former Miss Florida Valerie Ely Stabbed to Death by Son Just Feet Away from Tarzan Star Husband Ron

Ely is listed on the 2007 football team’s roster as a freshman quarterback from Phillips Exeter Academy, but he is not listed on the rosters of football teams in subsequent years.

Cameron Ely

A 2007 Harvard Crimson article on that year’s football recruiting class says Ely “sports the conventional Harvard-recruited stats: a GPA above 4.0, questionable arm strength and supreme intelligence to go along with his ability to make ‘good decisions,’ according to prominent recruiting Web site Scout.com.”

A Harvard spokesperson tells PEOPLE Ely graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology on May 24, 2012.

RELATED: Ron Ely’s Son Called 911 After Stabbing Mom Valerie and Tried to Blame His Elderly Dad for Murder

The Los Angeles Times reports Ely was a licensed security guard for the past two years.

Representatives for the Ely family did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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Prior to marrying Ron, Valerie competed in the Miss Florida competition in 1981 while representing Miami. She went on to compete at the Miss USA beauty pageant later that year but did not win.

She was also a former flight attendant and even won Miss Airlines International, a beauty pageant for flight attendants and other airline employees, in 1980, according to The Miami News.

Besides their son Cameron, Ron and Valerie, who wed in 1984, shared two daughters, Kirsten and Kaitland, 32.

Valerie Ely, Ron Ely
Kirsten Ely/Instagram; James Lemke Jr./WireImage

The sisters, who are both social media influencers, have yet to speak out about the tragedy but previously described their adoration for their parents on Instagram and in blog posts.

Ron was a veteran actor who played the role of Tarzan from 1966 to 1968.

RELATED: Woman Found Stabbed to Death at Santa Barbara Home Owned by Tarzan Star Ron Ely, Suspect Also Killed

He also starred in the iconic seventies show Fantasy Island and the 1975 film Doc Savage: The Man of Iron and Bronze. Additionally, he hosted the Miss America pageant in the 1980s.

Ron Ely as Tarzan
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

After getting married to Valerie, Ron took a break from acting to focus on raising their children. More recently, he had a role in the 2014 television movie Expecting Amish.

The sheriff’s office spokesperson said no deputies were injured during the confrontation and noted that the office is currently conducting criminal, coroner’s, and administrative investigations.

Ron also did not suffer any injuries but was taken to the hospital as a precaution. An autopsy of both Valerie and Cameron is pending.

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