Constant. Grzegorz “Greg” Pierzchala was answering calls on his own for the first time in his career with the Ontario Provincial Police when he was shot dead on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old rookie was told earlier that day that he had successfully completed a 10-month probationary period as an OPP officer and was allowed to patrol alone.
OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said Pierzchala had wanted to be a police officer since he was five years old.
“[He] had a brief opportunity to fulfill her dream and do her best to keep our community safe,” Carrique told CTV News Toronto.
Previously, Pierzchala was a special police officer at Queen’s Park and a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Greg Pierzchala seen in this undated photo was shot dead in a shooting near Hagersville, Ont. on December 27, 2022. (Twitter/OPP)
Before that, he was a competitive wrestler and competed in events during his time at York University and as a high school student at Barrie.
He was awarded Senior Athlete of the Year by St. Joan of Arc after qualifying for OFSAA (Ontario School Sports Federation) in swimming and wrestling as well as participating in soccer, track and field, weight training and rowing.
In a statement released by Barrie High School on Wednesday, staff remember him as an “inspiration and positive influence on all.”
“He approaches his life with incredible determination, compassion and joy. It is not surprising that he followed a career path of serving others,” the statement read.
Pierzchala is answering a call about a vehicle in a ditch near Hagersville, Ont. shortly after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, when he was shot dead.
According to Carrique, when Pierzchala arrived at the scene in the Indian Line and Concession 14 areas, he approached the vehicle and was shot in the face by two of them.
He was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, where he was pronounced dead.
Two suspects, Randall Mckenzie, 25, and an unidentified 30-year-old woman, were spotted fleeing the scene in a vehicle.
Police issued a warning to the couple after the shooting and advised residents to shelter in place as police searched for them.
The suspects are currently in police custody and the charges against them are expected to be announced by police later today.
With files from CTV News Toronto’s Siobhan Morris