Constable Grzegorz Pierzchala, 28, was shot and killed in the line of duty attending to a vehicle in distress Tuesday, Dec., 27, 2022. (OPP supplied photo)
By Lynda Powless
Charges are expected to laid today after an OPP constable was shot and killed in the line of duty Tuesday, Dec 27, 2022 while responding to a call for a vehicle in distress.
OPP are mourning the death of Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala, 28, who had just passed his 10-month probationary period, when he responded to the call at 2:30 P.M. and was shot.
OPP said Constable “Pierzchala was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Constable Pierzchala had been an OPP officer for just over a year.”
The constable was responding to a call for a vehicle in a ditch on Indian Line, on the border of Haldimand County and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Turtle Island News has been told the constable found a black pick-up truck in the ditch, he approached, spoke with two people in the vehicle and for unknown reasons it escalated, and he was shot.
OPP and Six Nations Police flooded the area on the border of Haldimand County and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation as a man hunt for an armed man and a woman began lasting almost four hours.
An emergency alert was issued to both cellphones and tv warning people to “shelter in place” as the manhunt continued in the immediate area.
OPP said they were searching for suspects believed to be armed and released a photo of Randall McKenzie, 25. While OPP have not identified an address for the man Turtle Island News has learned he is from Six Nations.
OPP also issued an alert for an unnamed woman who was arrested and about an hour later the armed man gave himself up to OPP after hiding in a bush lot on the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
OPP said “Two individuals were seen fleeing from the scene. Following a major search of the area, two people have been taken into custody. No further details will be released at this time regarding the suspects.”
Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Chief Stacey LaForme released a statement sending condolences to the officer’s family and fellow OPP officers and saying the community will be arranging wellness sessions for those affected and the community.
Emergency responders from Hagersville to Toronto lined the path of the fallen officer as he was transported to Toronto Tuesday night.
An ‘Alert Ready’ message had been sent to residents in the area, warning them to shelter-in-place. That alert, and the need to shelter in place, was later cancelled.
The OPP said in a statement they are “assisting the member’s family and colleagues as they deal with this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with them. The family is asking for privacy at this difficult time.”
If anyone has any information that may assist the investigation, they should contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Const Pierzchala had been an OPP officer for a year. Previously he had served as a Special Constable at Queens Park and was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. OPP said he had wanted to be a police officer since he was a child.
Six Nations Elected Band Council has also issued a statement of condolence to the officer’s family.
“Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council sends their deepest condolences to Officer Pierzchala’s family and friends as we all process and grieve this devastating event as a community,” said a statement released Tuesday.
“I was heartbroken to hear of this tragic incident as a result of a senseless act of violence, and of a young life taken so soon in the line of duty,” said Chief Mark B. Hill. “I am sending my sincere condolences, thoughts, and prayers to Officer Pierzchala’s loved ones and the entire OPP family for this immense loss.”
“I also want to thank the Ontario Provincial Police, the Six Nations Police, and all other services who supported this operation for their swift apprehension of the suspects and for continuing to keep our communities safe. I have spoken with Chief LaForme and offered any services they may need to support the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation community at this time.”
“We understand that this incident may have been frightening and traumatic for many. Those who need support are encouraged to reach out to the following resources:
Six Nations 24/7 Mobile Crisis Line: 519-445-2204 or toll-free 1-866-445-2204
- 24/7 Hope for Wellness Helpline: 1-855-242-3310, hopeforwellness.ca