Throughout the community of Hagersville, tributes poured in for the fallen OPP officer, and blue ribbons were put up in honor of Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala on Thursday, December 29.
Community members were in shock over the news from the commissioner of the OPP.
“I’m outraged over the fact McKenzie was out on bail and provided the opportunity to take the life of an innocent officer,” said OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique, in a press conference Wednesday.
25-year-old Randall McKenzie, identified by police as being from the Mississauga’s of the New Credit First Nation is charged with first-degree murder in the police officer’s death, along with 30-year-old Brandi Stewart-Sperry of Hamilton.
Police say the officer was shot and killed Tuesday when he was called to help a vehicle in the ditch. The suspects were arrested several hours later.
The OPP commissioner says McKenzie had previously been convicted of numerous charges but was released on bail.
Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Bobbi Ann Brady says the bail system has to be toughened up, “this is a system that this young man chose to go out and uphold, and yet the very system he was out there to uphold failed him.”
Conservative Member of Parliament for Brantford-Brant Larry Brock says this follows what he calls the liberal government’s soft-on-crime policies, and people want something better, “they’re very angry they’re extremely angry at our criminal legal system that allows these dangerous offenders to be released without the appropriate supervision, the appropriate ability to protect our communities.”
Suspect Randall McKenzie’s family issued a statement expressing their condolences to Const. Pierzchala’s family, saying “we wish them healing and peace.”
The OPP commissioner also said in his statement that Const. Pierzchala was ambushed when he was killed. He was there to help a vehicle in the ditch but the commissioner says he was shot before he had a chance to defend himself. He didn’t use his gun.