Hope Ranch fatal domestic disturbance
Hope Ranch’s bucolic Mariposa Drive was one long crime scene earlier this week.  (Peter Hartmann / Noozhawk photo)

Deputies shot and killed the suspect in a Hope Ranch homicide Tuesday night after finding a woman dead inside a residence, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

The deceased woman, whose identity was not released, was discovered in a spacious house on the 4100 block of Mariposa Drive, above Marina Drive in the upscale enclave’s eastern end, Lt. Erik Raney said.

The victim likely had been stabbed to death, according to emergency radio traffic.

Raney said he could not confirm the cause of death, saying only that the woman suffered “traumatic injury.”

Deputies were dispatched to the home at about 8:15 p.m. to what Raney said appeared to be a “family disturbance.”

“It was definitely some kind of altercation,” he told Noozhawk. “But we don’t yet know what the circumstances around it were.”

A disabled elderly man also was at the home, Raney said, and was unharmed. However, the man was transported to the hospital for evaluation, Raney added.

Deputies scoured the area around the residence and the surrounding neighborhood, and at about 9:40 p.m. located the suspect outside on the Mariposa Drive property, Raney said.

Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots at that time.

Sheriff’s vehicles on the 4100 block of Mariposa Drive in Hope Ranch.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s vehicles line the 4100 block of Mariposa Drive in Hope Ranch on Tuesday night after a woman was found dead inside a residence, an apparent homicide victim. Authorities say the suspect was later located and shot and killed by deputies after he reportedly presented a threat. (Noozhawk photo)

The suspect “presented a threat to the deputies,” Raney said, and several of them fired their weapons, inflicting fatal wounds.

Raney added that he did not know the nature of the threat by the suspect, who was declared dead at the scene.

None of the deputies was injured, he said, noting that they will be placed on paid, administrative leave pending investigation of the officer-involved shooting.

The relationship between the victim, the suspect and the elderly man was not clear late Tuesday, Raney said.

Residents in the neighborhood within a mile of the house had been told to shelter in place while deputies searched for the suspect.

“This appears to be a family situation, and we don’t necessarily believe it is a danger to the public,” Raney said earlier.

The residence reportedly is owned by actor Ron Ely, 81, who is best known for having portrayed Tarzan in the 1966 NBC TV series of the same name. He and his wife, Valerie, have three adult children.

Authorities had not released the names of the homicide victim or the suspect as of Wednesday morning. 

The 6,300-square-foot house, which is on the market for $4.9 million, sits on 1½ acres, and includes five bedrooms and six bathrooms, along with a guest house and a pool house, according to the Zillow real estate website.

County firefighters and an American Medical Response ambulance also were dispatched to the scene.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.