Madison County, IL – Brooklyn Police Department (BPD) Officer Brian Pierce died in the line of duty early Wednesday morning due to injuries he suffered after being hit by a fleeing suspect.
The 24-year-old officer was trying to deploy stop sticks on the McKinley Bridge to flatten the tires of a fleeing vehicle at approximately 3 a.m. when the suspect slammed into him and drove off into St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The vehicle, described as a red Dodge Charger with temporary Illinois tags and a black front end, was later found abandoned in Missouri, according to the BPD.
The suspect remains on the loose.
Investigators said they had been pursuing the driver after an incident at the Bottoms Up nightclub in Brooklyn, but did not provide details about the incident, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Officer Pierce was not conscious or breathing when first responders found him, according to the paper.
While police were investigating Officer Pierce’s death, a different driver in a gray Kia Optima crashed through the roadblock they had set up on the bridge, smashing into patrol vehicles and nearly hitting several officers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Police opened fire on the driver, who suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
The driver of the Kia was arrested along with the three passengers inside the vehicle, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Officer Pierce’s body was transported from the scene by an ambulance after the Madison County coroner arrived shortly before 9 a.m.
“He was born with a passion to be a police officer,” Officer Pierce’s mother, Tammy Pierce, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “His favorite thing about police work was just being out in the public and stopping crime. He was all about that.”
Officer Pierce began his law enforcement career serving as an officer in Spillertown, Illinois, according to the paper.
Two years later, he joined the BPD, where he served for the past nine months, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Officer Pierce made a 100-mile drive from his home in Carbondale to work his night shifts at the BPD, his mother said.
He also served as a lieutenant with the Makanda Fire Department and ran his own company installing floodlights and other equipment for various law enforcement agencies, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
During the day, he worked as an armed security guard for Consume Cannabis Company in Carbondale, according to KSDK.
Tammy Pierce said her son’s love for public service emerged when he was just three years old, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“All he wanted to do was play with the Matchbox police and fire truck cars,” she recalled.
Officer Pierce was a beloved member of the 10-member BPD, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“He’d come to work early because this is what he loved to do,” BPD Captain Antonio White told the paper. “He’d have your back 100 percent.”
“Officer Pierce was a very fine young man. Very energetic,” Capt. White told KMOV. “When he came to work, he put a smile on your face. He’s an officer that you’d love to have on your team, your unit.”
Officer Pierce leaves behind his mother and father, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
“Words cannot express how proud I was of him,” his father, Brian Pierce Sr., told KSDK. “This is just hard to believe right now. I don’t believe it’s true still. He was actually my hero.”
Our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Officer Brian Pierce Jr. who was killed in the line of duty by a vehicle . pic.twitter.com/HUYcPmA46v
— NYPD 9th Precinct (@NYPD9Pct) August 4, 2021
The BackStoppers is now assisting the family of Officer Brian Pierce, Jr. of the Brooklyn Police Department who died in the line of duty on August 4, 2021 after being fatally struck by a vehicle of a fleeing suspect. pic.twitter.com/3ntTTAVxMM
— The BackStoppers Inc (@BackStoppers) August 5, 2021
Flags are at half-staff in Brooklyn, Illinois after fallen police officer Brian Pierce Jr. was killed early Wednesday morning while trying to stop a fleeing car. Pierce was new to the force and in his 20s. He had a passion for life, family and to protect and serve . pic.twitter.com/ZLJt2Qk6IF
— Kelley Hoskins FOX2 News St.Louis (@KelleyHoskins) August 4, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Brooklyn Police Department Officer Brian Pierce, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Brian Pierce, your life mattered.