WOODBRIDGE, Va. (AP) — A police officer was fatally shot a day after being sworn in, and two of her colleagues were wounded while responding to a reported argument at a northern Virginia home, authorities said.
A county official said a civilian woman was also killed in the domestic dispute Saturday.
Officers received a call around 5:30 Saturday evening in Woodbridge, about 30 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, about a “verbal argument,” Sgt. Jonathan Perok, spokesman of the Prince William County Police Department, said. It’s not clear how the altercation between the suspect and police began, but the suspect, a military serviceman, is in custody and was not injured, he said. The condition of the other two officers is not known.
A statement released on the department’s Facebook page said, “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 … has died as a result of her injuries sustained during the incident.”
A picture of Guindon was posted to the department’s Twitter page on Friday with a tweet that read, “Welcome Officers Steven Kendall & Ashley Guindon who were sworn in today & begin their shifts this weekend. Be Safe!” It is not known if the other officer in the tweet was involved in the shooting incident.
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
Ronald Williams Hamilton, age 32, of 13051 Lashmere Ct in Woodbridge was charged with 1 count of capital murder of a police officer, 1 count of first degree murder, 2 counts of malicious wounding of a police officer, and 2 counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony.
Guindon had been a county police officer a few years ago and had left and returned to the force, Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday night. He said he did not know the exact dates of when she started and left.
Another woman, Crystal Sheree Hamilton, age 29, was killed in the domestic call and was dead before police arrived, Stewart said, but police declined to confirm that information. Stewart also said there was a child in the house during the incident who was not harmed.
At Inova Fairfax Hospital, where the three officers were flown by helicopter after the shooting, more than 100 patrol cars lined the roads outside early Sunday morning to stand vigil and escort Guindon’s body to the medical examiner.
The shooting occurred in the Lake Ridge neighborhood, on a curving street with $500,000 suburban houses with brick and siding exteriors, manicured lawns and two-car garages about a five-minute drive from the county office building.
Until Saturday evening, the big news in the police department was the planned retirement of Chief Steve Hudson, who announced two weeks ago that he will step down at the end of March, and officers’ plans to do a “polar bear” plunge on Saturday morning to raise money for Special Olympics.
A vigil for officer Guindon is planned for 7 p.m. in Woodbridge.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report