A Prince William County police officer, Mike Lomanaco, walks by a home Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, following a fatal shooting at the residence Saturday evening in Woodbridge, Virginia. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Twenty-eight-year-old Ashley Guindon's first full day on the job as a cop was also her last.
Guindon was one of three police officers in Prince William County, Virginia, to be shot when responding to a domestic incident a little after 5:30 PM on Saturday. While the other two officers—David McKeown, 33, and Jesse Hempen, 31—are expected to make a full recovery, Guindon succumbed to her injuries a few hours later at Fairfax Inova Hospital.
Army Staff Sergeant Ronald Williams Hamilton allegedly shot the officers when they approached the front door of his single-family home in the town of Woodbridge. Before the three arrived, police say Hamilton shot and killed his wife, 28-year-old Crystal Sheree Hamilton, after she called 911. The 32-year-old sergeant later surrendered when additional cops surrounded his home.
The couple's 11-year-old son was physically unharmed during the incident, but he was visibly traumatized, according to 18-year-old neighbor Zacarius Harris.
"He ran so fast I can't even imagine how scared he must have been," Harris told the Washington Post. "It broke my heart."
Hamilton, who was employed at the Pentagon's Joint Staff Support Center, was arraigned on Monday morning on charges that include first-degree murder, murder of a law enforcement officer, two counts of malicious wounding of a police officer, and two counts of use of a firearm during a felony. He's being held at a county jail without bond, and Paul Ebert, the Prince William County prosecutor, has indicated he's considering the death penalty.
"Ronald has always been a calm person and a very friendly person," his father said. "He had a bright future with the army and military."
Although there's no clear motive, Crystal Hamilton's friend Shayna Colunga recalled that the alleged killer would get jealous of the men his wife helped at the Wounded Warrior Regiment in Bethesda, Maryland. Colunga didn't know what specifically sparked the fight that escalated toward Crystal and Guindon's death, but the woman never expressed any fears about her husband harming her.
"That was her munchkin," Colunga told the paper. "She called him her munchkin, her best friend."
Guindon, meanwhile, is described as a dedicated person who gave her life to service. She interned for the department in 2011 while she studied for a master's degree in forensic science and served in the US Marine Corps Reserve for six years. She later started training to become a police officer but resigned last June for personal reasons, according to Fox News.
Guindon eventually reapplied, and her past experience and passion made her a prime candidate for the job.
"She did share with us, when we rehired her, she felt like she still wanted to do this job," said Prince William County Police Chief Steve Hudson. "She couldn't get it out of her blood. It was something she felt she could pour herself into."
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