First degree murder charges filed against man and woman in Ontario officer’s killing
December 28, 2022 By The Canadian Press
Dec. 28, 2022, Hagersville, Ont. – Murder charges have been filed against two people who were arrested after an on-duty Ontario Provincial Police officer was gunned down Tuesday.
Court documents show Randall McKenzie, who is 25, and Brandi Crystal Lyn Stewart-Sperry, who is 30, both face one count of first-degree murder.
Police said Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala was killed Tuesday afternoon while responding to a vehicle in a ditch just west of Hagersville, Ont.
Pierzchala had been with the OPP for just over a year, Commissioner Thomas Carrique said. Just before his death, Pierzchala had been notified that he had passed his 10-month probation period.
The officer was previously a special constable at Queen’s Park who, as a boy, dreamt of joining the police ranks, the commissioner said.
Haldimand County Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley visited the scene Wednesday along with other community members to pay tribute to the 28-year-old officer.
“It is heartbreaking, disturbing, very upsetting for our community,” she said. “These things just don’t happen in Haldimand County.”
Harold Sheldrick, who lives close to the scene, said he was surprised to hear about the fatal shooting in the “peaceful area.”
“Sure, there is crime just like anywhere but, I mean, out here it is the first time I have heard someone getting shot and killed,” said Sheldrick, who has lived in the area for about a year.
“A lot of these families know each other, so I am kind of surprised something would escalate this far out here.”
Local member of provincial parliament, Bobbi Ann Brady, also visited the scene Wednesday and said that all of Ontario mourns the loss of the officer.
“It is tragic, and it doesn’t make sense, and my heart, my prayers, my thoughts go out to the officer’s family,” she said while wiping her tears.
“As a mom, this really hits home, he is a young man and that is someone’s son, somebody’s brother, and it is a life lost,” she said.
“It doesn’t make sense and there is no reason for these types of things to happen, and it hits in a small community like this because we are not accustomed to these types of stories.”
Provincial police had issued an emergency alert just before 6 p.m., hours after the reported shooting around 2:30 p.m., advising all area residents to remain in place.
The alert was cancelled shortly after that, when the suspects were arrested.
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