Skip to content

A look at police officers recently killed on the job across Canada

Edmonton police say two patrol officers have been killed while responding to a call. Six other police officers have been killed in Canada since September 2022. Here's a look at their cases and who they were.
Police investigate the scene where two officers were shot and killed on duty in Edmonton on Thursday, March 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Edmonton police say two patrol officers have been killed while responding to a call. Six other police officers have been killed in Canada since September 2022. Here's a look at their cases and who they were:

Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala, 28

The Ontario Provincial Police has said Pierzchala was responding to a call for a vehicle in a ditch west of Hagersville, Ont., on Dec. 27 and was fatally shot in an ambush when he got there.

Pierzchala had been with force for about a year and had been notified that he had passed his 10-month probation period hours before he died.

He was previously a special constable at Queen's Park who, as a boy, dreamed of joining the police ranks.

His colleagues have remembered him as a wonderful officer with "the biggest heart of gold you could ever imagine."

Two people have been charged with first-degree murder in his death.

Const. Shaelyn Yang, 31

Yang was killed after being stabbed in Burnaby, B.C., on Oct. 18 while trying to issue an eviction notice to a man who had been living in a tent at a local park.

During an altercation that led to her death, the mental health and homeless outreach officer for the RCMP shot the man and he survived.

Mounties in B.C. have described Yang as a kind, caring person who wanted to help people living with mental health issues and experiencing homelessness.

The Independent Investigations Office, British Columbia's police watchdog, has said there are no reasonable grounds to believe Yang committed an offence.

The man has since been charged with first-degree murder in her death.

Const. Devon Northrup, 33, and Const. Morgan Russell, 54

South Simcoe Police Service constables Northup and Russell were killed on Oct. 11, 2022, after they responded to a disturbance call at an Innisfil, Ont., home.

The Special Investigations Unit, the province's police watchdog, has said neither officer drew their guns before they were shot.

It has said a 22-year-old man at the home shot the two officers and also died in the shooting.

Northup was remembered by his colleagues as a funny, kind and dedicated officer who served as a member of the mental health crisis outreach team.

Colleagues said Russell passed over promotions and delayed his retirement to keep working in a community he served for 33 years.

Russell was described as a mentor, who sat on the hiring panel that started Northrup's career. He was also remembered as a disciplined officer who was trained in crisis negotiations.

Const. Travis Gillespie, 38

Gillespie, an officer with York Regional Police, died in a car crash on his way to work on Sept. 14.

Gillespie had been with the force for about two years and worked as a Metrolinx and GO Transit special constable before that. 

He was remembered as a family man with a positive outlook, a great sense of humour and a lifelong commitment to serving communities.

His colleagues said he was someone who helped them become better at their jobs.

A 23-year-old Markham, Ont. man faces impaired driving charges in connection with the collision.

Const. Andrew Hong, 48

Police have said Hong was shot in an ambush on Sept. 12 at a Mississauga Tim Hortons while he was getting coffee for his colleagues on a lunch break.

Many people who spoke at his funeral said the fact that he was on a coffee run was indicative of his generosity.

Loved ones described Hong as a natural teacher who not only taught his children various skills, but someone who also gave valuable lessons to his trainees in the motorcycle unit.

Investigators have said the man who killed Hong later shot three people at an auto body shop — killing two and injuring one — before being killed by police.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2023.

The Canadian Press

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks