One of the accused in the death of an Ontario police officer had a run-in with the law
Randall McKenzie is one of two defendants in connection with the death of an Ontario police officer on Tuesday south of Hamilton.
According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Randall McKenzie, who was charged with homicide in connection with the death of Constable Grzegorz Pierzchala, was the subject of a warrant under arrest since September after he failed to appear for a court appearance.
According to the OPP, Mr. McKenzie was charged in 2021 with committing numerous offenses involving a firearm and assaulting a peace officer.+
He was subsequently released on bail and ordered to respect several conditions, including the obligation not to leave his residence and not to possess weapons, according to the police.
According to legal documents obtained by CBC, Mr. McKenzie was sentenced in 2018 to a nearly three-year sentence for robbery, assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon and other mischief.
The judge then banned the defendant from owning a firearm for life.
The 25-year-old man appeared for the first time outside the Cayuga courthouse on Wednesday afternoon. He will remain in custody and will not be able to communicate with Brandi Stewart-Sperry, the other defendant in this case, or with members of the victim's family.
Brandi Stewart-Sperry was charged with homicide on December 28, 2022.
OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique says Constable Pierzchala's death was preventable.
It should never have happened. Things have to change. Our police, your police, my police and the public deserve protection from violent offenders charged with firearms offences, he said at a press conference late Wednesday. afternoon.
In a statement provided to The Canadian Press, Mr. McKenzie's family offers their condolences to Constable Pierzchala's loved ones. We wish them healing and peace, the statement reads.
The family adds that the accused had a difficult childhood, had poor attendance at school and began abusing drugs at a young age.
In a February 2021 document, the Parole Board of Canada notes that it is clear that [Mr. McKenzie] and his family suffered the negative effects of colonialism.
The man is part of the Six Nations Onondaga Iroquois nation, according to the document.
The Commission mentions that the defendant was adopted at the age of two years because of the problems of neglect and consumption of his biological parents.
[Mr. McKenzie] describes [his] adoptive mother as physically and emotionally abusive. [He] grew up feeling alone and rejected, can we read in the document consulted by Radio-Canada.
The Commission also notes that the accused believes that his adoptive grandfather was sent as a child to an aboriginal boarding school.
During Wednesday evening's press briefing, the OPP claimed that the officer was basically taken into ambush.
A few hours before his death, Grzegorz Pierzchala learned that he had passed his probationary period.
Constable Pierzchala was responding to a call for a vehicle in a ditch when he was shot, again according to police.
The OPP alleges that Constable Pierzchala was at the scene of the incident for a very short period of time and did not use his firearm.
The suspects allegedly left the vehicle in the ditch and fled the scene at foot before stealing a passerby's vehicle, according to Commissioner Carrique.
The next court appearance for the two defendants is January 17.
Funeral details for Policeman Pierzchala are expected to be announced in the coming days.
With information from The Canadian Press