Provincial police are expected to lay charges Wednesday against two suspects arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of an OPP officer in Ohsweken.
Const. Grzegorz (Greg) Pierzchala, a Haldimand County OPP officer, was in the area of Indian Line and Concession 14 Walpole when he came across a vehicle in a ditch and was shot during that interaction just before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The circumstances leading up to the shooting weren’t immediately clear.
Const. Pierzchala, who was 28 years old, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died.
Two suspects were arrested shortly after an emergency alert was issued in nearby Ohsweken and surrounding communities.
In the alert, OPP officers identified the male suspect as 25-year-old Randall McKenzie and said they also were looking for a 30-year-old female suspect.
The circumstances surrounding their apprehension and where specifically they were found wasn’t clear as of Tuesday evening.
OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique flew to Haldimand County to meet and speak with Pierzchala’s family members as well as other officers.
“Our hearts are actually broken as a policing family to announce the on-duty death of Constable Greg Pierzchala, who was with us for just over a year,” he told reporters during a brief news conference in Hagersville Tuesday night
Carrique said he learned Pierzchala, who previously served as a special constable at Queen’s Park and as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, wanted to be a police officer for most of his life.
He said Pierzchala learned early on Tuesday that he had just passed a 10-month probation and would be allowed to patrol solo as a permanent member of the OPP.
A procession for Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala also occurred late last night from West Haldimand Hospital to Toronto.
Procession for Provincial Constable Grzegorz Pierzchala is mobile from West Haldimand Hospital en route to Toronto now. #HeroesInLife @OPP_WR pic.twitter.com/Iwe33kpzw5— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD) December 28, 2022
Carrique didn’t release further information about the incident but said the shooting appeared to happen suddenly.
“As the officer approached the motor vehicle, the information we have is that he was open-fired upon, and he was shot and killed at that time,” Carrique said. “I have no reason to believe the officer had any opportunity to fire his weapon.”
He also praised members of the Six Nations Police Service for their “instrumental” help in tracking the suspects.
He said further information on charges the suspects will be facing is expected to be released sometime on Wednesday.