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Donato Anthony CORBO





Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Shooting rampage - He believed the devil was ordering him to take action
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: April 29, 2011
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1971
Victims profile: Luc Mombers, 41, and his parents-in-law Kobus, 64, and Annetjie Snyman, 65
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Hectorville, South Australia, Australia
Status: Found not guilty due to mental incompetence. Ordered to spend the rest of his life in mental health detention on May 16, 2013

The 2011 Hectorville siege was a siege that took place between the hours of 2:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 29, 2011, at the small suburb of Hectorville, east of Adelaide in the state of South Australia, Australia.

It began after a 39-year-old male, later identified as Donato Anthony Corbo, went on a shooting rampage, killing three people and wounding a child and two police officers, before being arrested by Special Operations police after an eight-hour stand off.


The incident started at approximately 2:30 a.m. when Corbo entered his neighbors' property and shot dead the 64-year-old man, then his 65-year-old wife and their 41-year-old son-in-law. A female who was also in the house at the time rang police and fled with her 14-year-old son and his 11-year-old friend, but the son was seriously wounded when Corbo shot him as he tried to flee the house.

A South Australia Police patrol were the first officers on the scene. It is alleged that when the officers approached the house, Corbo opened fire with a shotgun. One officer was seriously wounded when he was shot in the face and another officer was wounded in the knee, but was able to return fire and drag himself and his wounded colleague to safety. Both officers were taken to Royal Adelaide Hospital for treatment and survived. Corbo then fled next door back to his property, where he engaged in a tense siege with heavily-armed members of the STAR force. After an eight-hour-long siege, police finally entered the property and arrested Corbo without further casualties.


The victims were South African immigrants who arrived in Australia three years before the shooting from Pretoria in the hope of a better life for their son as they felt that South Africa was a violent place to bring a child up. The two deceased victims were on holiday visiting the family and were due to return home to South Africa two days after the shooting took place. The family were deeply religious, members of the local Seventh-day Adventist Church.


The suspect arrested was announced as being 39-year-old Donato Anthony Corbo, and had had previous dealings with the police. It is suggested that the reason for the killings may have sparked from an earlier row between the two families over Corbo's pet dog, a Staffordshire Terrier, which had recently been poisoned. It is also speculated that Corbo was suffering from mental health issues, stemming from a relationship breakup in December 2010. It is alleged that the weapon used during the shootings was a shotgun, a Class-A category firearm. It is not known if Corbo has a legitimate license for the weapon. However, police would later remove three further firearms from his property.


Corbo was later charged with three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and a string of other offenses, and if convicted, he will face an automatic penalty of three consecutive sentences of life imprisonment. He was refused bail and scheduled to appear in court on May 2.

A day after the shootings occurred, the police officer who was seriously wounded after being shot in the face was confirmed to be in a serious but stable condition, under an induced coma in Royal Adelaide Hospital. The 14-year-old boy who also suffered gunshot wounds was also stated to be in a similar condition.

Corbo appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court on May 2, charged with three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was scheduled to reappear in court on July 26.

On May 17, 2012, Justice Michael David found Corbo not guilty due to mental incompetence of the murders of Luc Mombers, 41, and his parents-in-law Kobus, 64, and Annetjie Snyman, 65; the attempted murders of Mr Mombers' 14-year-old son Marcel and a police officer; and threatening a second police officer with a firearm. Corbo was automatically sentenced to three consecutive sentences of detention in hospital for life. The matter was remanded until June 21, when Justice David will decide whether Corbo should ever be released under supervision.


Hectorville killer detained for life in SA

May 17, 2012

A JUDGE has questioned how a mentally ill man came to possess the gun he used to murder three members of a family who had moved to Adelaide to escape violence in South Africa.

Supreme Court Justice Michael David today ordered Donato Anthony Corbo, 39, to spend the rest of his life in mental health detention in Adelaide.

He set the term after finding Corbo not guilty, due to mental incompetence, of the murders of Luc Mombers, 41, and his parents-in-law Kobus, 64, and Annetjie Snyman, 65, in suburban Hectorville in April 2011.

"The most disturbing factor of this whole tragedy is how this man had a gun given his psychological condition," Justice David said.

The judge also found Corbo not guilty, due to mental incompetence, of threatening a police officer, and the attempted murders of Mr Mombers' 14-year-old son Marcel and a second policeman.

Mr Snyman and his wife were in Adelaide on holiday from South Africa to visit their daughter Rika Mombers when they were killed.

Ms Mombers and her daughter, who was not home at the time, escaped unhurt. Corbo was their neighbour.

Justice David has remanded the matter until June 21 when he will decide whether Corbo, who sat quietly in the dock, should ever be released under supervision.


Three die, 2 wounded in Adelaide shooting

By Sarah Malik and Liza Kappelle -

April 29, 2011

A gunman who killed three of his neighbours and shot a policeman in the face is in custody after a eight-hour siege in Adelaide.

Police don't know why the 39-year-old went on a rampage in suburban Hectorville, killing a couple, their son-in-law and wounding his 14-year-old son and a policeman.

The couple's daughter and an 11-year-old boy who was staying at the house escaped uninjured.

South Australian Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Burns said it was a "shock" for Adelaide.

"I have the deepest sympathy for the family involved in the shooting because it is four members of a family who were shot, three generations," he said.

"You don't know what sets these things off.

"It is a huge tragedy ... and we're not sure why, and it happens in suburban Adelaide."

Police were alerted by a frantic call at 2.30am (CST) from the woman who survived saying shots were being fired into their front door on Montacute Road.

The gunman shot at officers after they arrived, the commissioner said.

"It will be alleged that the offender fired on police and the officers returned fire," he said.

"One officer was shot in the face."

He is in a serious but stable condition with injuries to his jaw, while a second officer was treated for an injured knee.

The man fled back home and held police at bay for eight tense hours before his arrest.

His mother was removed from the home by police during the siege.

The woman who called police escaped with the 11-year-old boy.

But her teenage son was seriously wounded and is now in hospital. Her parents and husband are dead.

Commissioner Burns said the injured policeman was in an induced coma and would require surgery to his jaw.

"It's a very distressing and traumatic incident for everyone involved," he said.

One of their neighbours, Bryian Bennier, 24, said police had briefed the locals.

"Apparently, some bloke just snapped and shot dead three people," he told AAP on Friday.

"It's pretty freaky round this area - this is a nice area - that this happens."

Lucie Taddeo who lives six doors down said she heard yelling early in the morning, at around 2.30am.

"All I heard was: 'Get back, get down' and there were helicopters circulating."

The man is expected to be charged with three murders, at least one count of attempted murder and a string of other offences.

Police are asking residents to remain in their homes until they have been spoken to by officers so they can search the crime scene forensically and preserve any evidence.



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