Skip to content

'Great guy': OPP officer killed in line of duty was from Barrie

'Greg was always smiling, very disciplined and focused on what he wanted to do for work,' says owner of local academy where officer trained

Flags in the City of Barrie will fly at half mast in honour of an OPP officer killed in the line of duty who not only called Barrie his home, but left a lasting legacy in the community.

Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon when responding to a vehicle in the ditch at the intersection of Indian Line and Concession 14, west of Hagersville.

The 28-year-old officer was a member of the Haldimand County Detachment who, hours before his death, had found out he had passed his 10-month probationary period. 

An OPP statement said that when he arrived at the scene of the ditched vehicle, he was shot.

Today, our community is mourning the loss of a fallen OPP officer. My thoughts & prayers are with Constable Pierzchala's family, friends, and colleagues.💙Flags will be lowered to half-mast at City Hall today in honour of Constable Pierzchala's bravery & time spent in service.

— Alex Nuttall (@AlexFromBarrie) December 28, 2022

The OPP have said a 25-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were arrested, and no other suspects are at large.

The OPP's media relations manager, Bill Dickson, told BarrieToday that as of right now, the OPP are “working with the family to determine if they want to release a statement.”

Dickson also confirmed that the officer was once a Special Constable at Queen’s Park.

Those who watched Pierzchala grow up in the community painted the picture of a young man who had a polite and respectful demeanour.

Pierzchala graduated from Barrie’s St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School (JOA) in 2012. One of his former wrestling coaches at the school told BarrieToday what he meant to her.

Anne-Marie Goorts said that Pierzchala was “the man you hoped your child would become.”

“Always thoughtful, considerate, kind, led with his heart and always tried to do the right thing,” said Goorts. “Even 10 years after graduating, he would still call me coach if he saw me around town or at the gym training.”

Moorts said Pierzchala would often come back to training sessions and help younger wrestlers get better.

“All of the younger wrestlers looked up to him and he spent time working with every one of them; his level of patience knew no bounds,” said Moorts. “I became a better coach by having him on my team.”

Nicholas Cryer, head coach of the Kempenfelt Bay Athletic Club (K-Bay), told BarrieToday he had Pierzchala on his teams for about three or four years but also coached him on the high school team as Bear Creek (where Cryer teaches) and JOA would collaborate.

“He had so much respect, always ‘yes sir, yes ma’am,’ and he had such a quiet demeanour yet was a very hard working young man,” said Cryer.

Cryer said Pierzchala had three other siblings. One brother has played professional soccer for multiple European teams, another was a star player with the University of Toronto and a younger sister still attends JOA.

After flags at City Hall were lowered to half-mast, Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall said the “city mourns with the family of Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala and honours our fallen hero.”

“We, as a community, will be here for his family and have lowered all flags to half mast to honour his service and mourn his loss. Officer Grzegorz, we thank you for your service to Canada, Ontario and policing. We will not forget your sacrifice for the safety of the community,” said Nuttall.

There is no information yet on funeral arrangements for Pierzchala and BarrieToday will have more information as it becomes available.