Editor’s Note: The original version of this story included a photo initially released by the Ontario Provincial Police of the co-accused, Brandi Crystal Lyn Stewart-Sperry. The individual in the OPP-released photo was not, in fact, the co-accused and the OPP has confirmed its error. After being made aware of the error, Global News updated this story by removing the photo.
Two people are in custody after an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer was shot and killed in Hagersville, Ont.
Sources told Global News the officer was fatally shot on Tuesday, after stopping a vehicle that had been reported missing.
In a video posted to Twitter, the force said the incident occurred at around 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday in the Indian Line and Concession 14 Walpole.
According to police, the officer was responding to a vehicle in a ditch.
The force said the officer was shot and was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police said he was pronounced deceased in hospital.
In a tweet later Tuesday evening, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique identified the deceased officer as Provincial Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala.
He said Pierzchala was killed while “courageously serving in the line of duty.”
“Our hearts are with his loved ones and all OPP members at this tragic time,” he wrote.
In a press release, the force said Pierzchala was 28-years-old and had been an OPP officer for just over a year.
Read more: SIU sheds light on what happened in the Innisfil home where 2 South Simcoe Police officers were fatally shot
According to police, a male and female were seen fleeing from the scene after the shooting.
In an emergency alert issued Tuesday evening, the force said it was searching for 25-year-old Randall McKenzie, in a black, Chevrolet pickup truck.
The alert also included a photo of a woman, but did not identify or provide a description of her.
The alert said the suspects were believed to be armed, and requested members of the public in the area shelter in place while officers investigated.
In an update just before 7 p.m., police confirmed to Global News that two suspects had been located in the bush and were taken into custody.
The alert was cancelled shortly after.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.
Condolences pour in
In a statement emailed to Global News, Haldimand County Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley expressed her condolences.
“This is a horrific incident,” the statement read. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the officers family, as well as the OPP and first responders.”
Bentley said the incident is “currently under investigation.”
“On behalf of the county I express our deepest condolences and support in this tragedy,” she said.
In a tweet, Kawartha Lakes Police said the force’s “thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the #OPP officer who was killed in the line of duty today.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory offered his “heartfelt condolences” to Pierzchala’s family, colleagues, friends and community in a tweet Tuesday.
“We are all shocked and saddened by the tragic death of OPP Constable Grzegorz Pierzchala near Hagersville today,” he wrote.
Tory said the incident is a “sad reminder of the huge sacrifice law enforcement officers are called upon to make in serving and protecting us.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he was “horrified” by the incident.
“Thank you to the officers who apprehended the suspects without incident,” he said in a tweet. “Our first responders are true heroes. We share in the pain felt by family, friends and the entire police community as Ontario mourns this loss.”
Hagersville is located approximately 50 kilometres southwest of Hamilton or about 30 kilometres south of Brantford.
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