Officer Ashley Guindon was fatally shot on her first day on the street after being sworn in to the Prince William Country Police Department on Friday.
According to authorities, Guindon was responding to a call about a possible domestic incident, and two other police officers were shot and wounded in the incident. All three officers were taken by helicopter to the Inova Fairfax Hospital.
While there is no information currently available about the other officers shot in the domestic incident, Guindon was fatally shot at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday in the 13000 block of Lashmere Court, a residential street in the Woodbridge/Lake Ridge area.
Authorities say that one person surrendered to the police and has been taken into custody in connection with the shooting.
Guindon was sworn in to The Prince William County Police Department on Friday and started her first shifts on the street this weekend. As soon as Guindon was sworn in, Prince William County Police tweeted a message of welcome to her and another new officer, Steven Kendall. Showing a photo of the two rookies in uniform, the tweet read, “Be safe!”
Welcome Officers Steven Kendall & Ashley Guindon who were sworn in today & begin their shifts this weekend.Be safe! pic.twitter.com/92c2YLjcQx
— Prince William Co PD (@PWCPoliceDept) February 26, 2016
According to The Washington Post, online information shows that Ashley Guindon graduated from Merrimack High School in New Hampshire back in 2005 and held a license to fly historical aircraft.
Guindon is also a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, and held a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics. She reportedly served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, and apparently had relatives in law enforcement.
According to a source who is familiar with Guindon’s Marine Corps service, she held the rank of corporal and had been assigned to a unit at Bolling Air Force Base and was involved in sending home the remains of fallen Marines.
Guindon had reportedly worked as a police officer before and had left and was only now returning to the force. She and the other two officers had been assigned to patrol duty in the eastern part of the Virginia suburban county.
The nature of the domestic incident that brought them to the site is still unknown, but Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors told the Associated Press in an interview Saturday night that a woman was killed in the incident. Reportedly there was also a child in the home who was not injured.
Early Sunday morning, there were reportedly more than 100 patrol cars lining the roads to stand vigil while Guindon’s body was taken to the medical examiner.
— Julie Carey (@JulieCareyNBC) February 28, 2016
According to NBC Washington, neighbors had reported hearing several rapid gunshots, and at that time, young people were playing outside. One young witness, who asked not to be identified, said: “We heard three to four gunshots, so we started running, and then when we got up here we saw all the cops.”
“They told us to go inside.”
A neighbor in the area, Sahar Jan said, “I can’t believe this is my neighborhood,” adding they were just in front of that house moments before.
“I just couldn’t imagine that it happened right there. They seemed like nice people.”
According to Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert, he has authorized a capital murder charge, along with other counts, against the suspect that has been taken into custody. Virginia law reportedly allows for the death penalty in the case of the murder of a police officer. Ebert said the suspect will be making his first court appearance on Monday.
According to the New York Times, up until the shooting incident on Saturday evening, the only major news in the Prince William County police department was the planned retirement of Chief Steve Hudson. Hudson reportedly announced two weeks ago that he would be stepping down at the end of March and was planning to do a “polar bear” plunge on Saturday morning in order to raise funds for Special Olympics.