Police: Jammed gun saved Camden police officer from being shot in the face

Camera icon Camden County Police Department
Delronn Mahan

Delronn Mahan, 19, of Lindenwold, charged with shooting a Camden County police officer in a leg during a struggle Wednesday night in Camden, apparently tried to fire a second shot at the officer’s face but his 9mm gun jammed, police said.

Mahan, who police said is connected to a Camden street gang, was charged with first-degree attempted murder, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and related weapons offenses, according authorities and police records.

The officer, identified as Patrick O’Hanlon, 21, has been on the force for about a year. He was shot in the upper right thigh, authorities said. Backup officers immediately put a tourniquet on the wound and rushed O’Hanlon to nearby Cooper University Hospital, Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson said. O’Hanlon was in good condition Thursday night, according to hospital spokeswoman Wendy Marano. He was expected to be released Friday, a county spokesman said.

“This situation could have been much worse,” Thomson said during a news conference.

“It’s nothing short of heroic the way this officer responded to this situation.”

Thomson said O’Hanlon approached three people at Ninth Street and Chelton Avenue shortly after 10 p.m. because they appeared suspicious. Mahan, with a lengthy criminal record, ran through the Centerville neighborhood with O’Hanlon chasing after him, according to authorities and police records.

The chase continued to Phillips Street and into the courtyard of the All American Gardens apartment complex on South Eighth Street. O’Hanlon caught Mahan in the middle of the courtyard, police said. There, a struggle ensued, and Mahan allegedly fired one shot, which struck O’Hanlon, police said.

“The subject pulled out a gun and shot the officer at point-blank range,” Thomson said. He attempted a second shot at the officer’s face, but the gun jammed.

O’Hanlon, while injured, kept Mahan subdued until backup officers arrived. A 9mm Taurus was recovered, according to the warrant.

Mahan was taken to Virtua Health & Welfare Center in Camden, where he was treated for cuts and contusions to his head. He was later transported to the police administration building, where he told police he ran from O’Hanlon because he thought there was a warrant out for his arrest, according to a police record. He also allegedly told police he shot the officer.

Mahan remains in the Camden County Jail. According to public records, his criminal history includes drug offenses, burglary, and receiving stolen property.