root - April 23, 2024

Deadly shooting unfolds during routine response in Mamre.

Suspect killed in showdown following manhunt. 

Community and authorities mourn the loss of dedicated officer.

Peter Luhanga

In a harrowing turn of events, a police sergeant was overpowered by a suspect during a routine response to a domestic violence complaint in Mamre, and shot dead with his own firearm on 17 April. 

The incident sparked off an intense manhunt for the killer, culminating in a showdown the next day in which the suspect was fatally shot by law enforcement officers. 

Atlantis SAPS spokesperson Captain Elizabeth Munro stated the deceased officer, Sergeant Adian Mahoney, 44, who joined the police in 2007, was on duty with his partner. The pair responded to a complaint of domestic violence at 7 Klapmuts Street. Upon entering complainant’s house the suspect attempted to assault the officers who defended themselves with pepper spray. The suspect  retreated to a bedroom, where Sergeant Mahoney instructed his partner to stand guard at the window. 

Munro said despite these precautions, the suspect overpowered Sergeant Mahoney, fatally shooting him with his own service pistol before fleeing on foot. 

“During the escape, the suspect fired two shots at the other officer, who was unharmed,” said Munro. 

Western Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa strongly condemned the killing of Sergeant Mahony.

Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile expressed dismay at the murder. “It is disheartening that a police official responding to a complaint is shot with his own service pistol. Police are there to protect community members. They should not come under attack,” stated Patekile.

At the scene on the afternoon of 17 April, neighbours stood at their doorways, visibly shocked, while others gathered behind the house where Sergeant Mahoney had been killed.

Police detective’s cars lined the road, and five plain-clothes officials from the Hawks were observed in front of the house where Mahoney was shot. In the distance, police sirens wailed as authorities pursued the suspect.

A resident who asked not to be named stood among a group of neighbours gathered at the doorway of a house directly opposite the one where Mahoney was shot. He said he knew the suspect who shot Mahoney, describing him as a “quiet guy”. He said he was shocked and would not have expected the suspect to shoot a police officer. He said gunshots were not uncommon in the area, drawing parallels to the notorious gang activity in Atlantis’s Dura Flats. 

Mahoney’s body, draped in white cloth and resting on a stretcher, was carefully loaded into the forensic pathology van at 17:45. His wife Elvina, visibly overcome with grief, stood nearby.

She had arrived at the scene accompanied by Atlantis DA ward councillor Allister Lightburn, for whom she works as a personal assistant.

Lightburn described the incident as “tragic”.

“This was one of our top cops in Atlantis who was willing to go the extra mile. A family man,” said Lightburn.

Deputy chairperson of the Atlantis Community Policing Forum (CPF), Fabian Williams, said Sergeant Mahoney was familiar to the members of the Atlantis CPF as he consistently assisted and actively participated in joint patrols and projects organised by the forum. 

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Phaladi Shuping stated the suspect who killed Mahoney was himself shot dead by law enforcement agencies the next day. Shuping stated the Provincial Crime Combat Unit had received information that the suspect was hiding in the bushes in the Mamre area. 

“On 18 April 2024 at around 09h15, the police went into the bush looking for the suspect. They saw him and fired warning shots but he fled. They gave chase and he was cornered. He pointed [aimed a gun] and the police allegedly fired shots at him. He was fatally wounded. The incident was reported to IPID for investigation,” said Shuping.

Munro stated a police memorial for Mahoney will be held on Wednesday 24 April 2024 at 10am, with the family funeral service scheduled for Saturday 27 April 2024, at 8pm at the United Mission Church of South Africa on Gazonia Street in Protea Park, Atlantis.

Mahoney is survived by his wife, Elvina, and their three children, Chenay, Chad, and Kaydy.

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