A police officer has been shot dead in Canada while responding to a vehicle stuck in a ditch – minutes after finding out he had passed the probationary period to get his ‘dream job’.
Ontario Provincial Police Constable Grzegorz Pierzchala, 28, responded to the scene on Indian Line Road in Haldimand County around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday, CBC reported.
Upon arrival, the cop was allegedly shot and killed by 25-year-old Randall McKenzie, who failed to appear in court on firearms charges, according to the Toronto Sun.
Pierzchala, who was shot in the chest and leg, was rushed to a local hospital, where he died.
McKenzie fled in a black Chevy pickup truck but was quickly arrested along with his unnamed girlfriend.
McKenzie was to be charged with first degree murder on Wednesday. The 30-year-old was also due to be charged, although it’s unclear exactly what counts.
Footage posted to social media on Tuesday shows fellow officers lined the streets as her body was transported to the coroner’s office in Toronto.
Before making his fateful appeal, Pierzchala learned he had served his 10-month probationary period on the force, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said.
“He is a man who at age 5 decided he wanted to be a police officer and he was given a brief opportunity to live his dream and do his best to keep our community safe,” Carrique said, reported the Hamilton Spectator. .
“And sadly, he made the ultimate sacrifice today,” he said, adding that the deceased police officer was also a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces.
“It is with an extremely heavy heart that I regret to inform you that #OPP Provincial Constable Grzegorz Pierzchala was killed today while courageously serving in the line of duty,” Carrique said in a statement. tweet.
“Our hearts are with his loved ones and all members of the OPP at this tragic time. #HeroesInLife,” he added.
Carrique said McKenzie was arrested with moderate injuries, but the officer allegedly did not shoot him with his service weapon.
Hagersville Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley expressed her condolences.
“This is a horrific incident,” she told PKBNEWS in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the officer’s family, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police and first responders.”
Bentley added: “On behalf of the county, I express our deepest condolences and support in this tragedy.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he was “horrified” by the officer’s death.
“Thank you to the officers who apprehended the suspects without incident,” he said in a tweet. “Our first responders are real heroes. We share the pain felt by family, friends and the entire police community as Ontario mourns this loss.
Ford added that “Pierzchala was killed while honoring his oath to protect his province. He represents the best of us. My prayers are with him, his family and his friends. It is impossible to understand their grief at this time. Ontario is thinking of you.
The area where Pierzchala was killed is also home to Mississaugas of Credit First Nation and adjacent Six Nations of the Grand River, according to CBC.
Chief Stacey Laforme, Mississaugas of Credit First Nation, said the community mourns the loss.
“We are relieved to learn that those involved have been arrested,” Laforme said in a statement to CBC. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the officer who was shot and killed this afternoon.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the news of Pierzchala’s death “heartbreaking”.
“To his family, friends and colleagues – the thoughts of all Canadians are with you,” he said in a tweet.
Toronto police officer Shawn Geris, who was Pierzchala’s wrestling coach at York University 10 years ago, recalled the youngster asking what the job was like, the report said. Hamilton Spectator.
Geris said he had hoped to present Pierzchala with his police badge when he graduated from the Ontario Police College, but COVID-19 restrictions prevented that.
“It was his dream job. It was what he wanted. And he knew the dangers of the job because I had talked to him about it before,” he said.