Ronald Hamilton has been arrested for the murder of Ashley Guindon, a Virginia police officer who was shot and killed responding to a domestic dispute on what was her first shift as a police officer.
The 32-year-old Hamilton is a sergeant in the U.S. Army and is also accused of murdering his wife after a day-long domestic dispute.
Ashley Guindon was on her first day on the job as a Prince William County Police officer when she and other officers were called to the domestic dispute in Dale City, Virginia. The suspect had reportedly already killed his wife by the time police arrived, and he allegedly opened fire when officers moved toward the home.
Neighbors told WUSA that officers had the home surrounded and called for Ronald Hamilton to come out, but he responded by opening fire. Two other officers were shot, and Ashley Guinon was killed.
“Officers approached the front door of the home and the subject opened fire,” said Prince William County Police Chief Steve Hudson.
The police department announced her death in a Facebook post on Saturday night.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce that Prince William County Police Officer Ashley Guindon, one of the officers involved in this evening shooting on Lashmere Ct, has died as a result of her injuries sustained during the incident. The investigation into the shooting is still underway and the remaining two officers wounded during the encounter are continuing to be treated for their injuries. We ask for everyone’s thoughts and prayers as our department deals with this tragic loss. We also ask for continued patience as we learn more about this incident. Further information will be released when available.”
Just days before, the department had shared a picture of Ashley Guindon at her swearing-in ceremony.
A large contingent of law enforcement officials gathered at the hospital after word was released of Guindon’s death; local officials offered their condolences as well.
“This is just absolutely tragic,” Prince William Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart said Saturday night in a statement, via InsideNova. “It just reinforces how dangerous it is to be a police officer. There was a domestic dispute and those are the most dangerous calls you can go on as an officer.”
“This is just a very sad day in the county and for the community,” Stewart said.
Guindon graduated from the police academy in June after receiving degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the New York Daily News reported. Like Hamilton, she was also a member of the U.S. Armed Services as a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve service member.
Guindon had interned with the Prince William County Police Department, and had served as a county police officer a short time ago, but reportedly left for personal reasons. She re-applied and was re-hired, Hudson said.
Hudson said Guindon was an enthusiastic officer who wanted to “pour herself into the job.”
“She clearly had a passion to serve others,” Hudson said.
One of the wounded officers was Guindon’s field training officer, 33-year-old David McKeown.
News of Guindon’s death made international headlines, leading people around the world to leave sympathetic messages on the department’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
Ronald Hamilton is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of assault, and various weapons offenses for the alleged murder of police officer Ashley Guindon.
[Image via PWC Police Department/Twitter]