Police Officer Killed During Her First Shift

| by Nik Bonopartis
Officer Ashley Guindon, center, with two fellow officersOfficer Ashley Guindon, center, with two fellow officers

A rookie police officer in Virginia was shot and killed during her first day on the job.

Officer Ashley Guindon, 28, had just joined the Prince William County Police Department and was sworn in on Feb. 26, the day before her first shift, CNN reported.

Guindon and two other officers responded to a 911 call on Feb. 27 from Crystal Hamilton, 29, who told dispatchers an argument with her husband was escalating.

The three officers approached the front door of the Hamiltons' home in Woodbridge, Virginia -- about 20 miles south of Washington, D.C. -- and told 32-year-old Ronald Williams Hamilton to surrender.

That's when Ronald opened fire, hitting all three officers.

Officers David McKeown, 33, and Jesse Hempen, 31, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, while Guindon was critically injured. She died a few hours later at Inova Fairfax Hospital, police said.

"The Prince William County Police Department is in deep mourning," Chief Steve Hudson said at a Feb. 28 press conference. "This is a sad day for everybody in this room, a sad day for law enforcement."

Ronald surrendered when more officers arrived for back-up. When officers searched his home, they found the body of his wife, Crystal.

Hudson said his investigators believe Ronald had killed his wife before Guindon and the other officers arrived.

The couple's 11-year-old son got away from the house before shots were fired, police said. He was staying with relatives after the incident.

Officers found a .45-caliber pistol and a rifle in the house, but did not say which weapon was used to shoot Crystal or the officers.

Ronald is an active-duty staff sergeant in the Army and was working at the Pentagon's Joint Staff Support Center, a military spokeswoman told CNN.

He was charged with first-degree murder and capital murder, which means he will be eligible for the death penalty if convicted. He was arraigned on Feb. 29, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 18.

Guindon was a former intern with the Prince William County Police Department and held a master's degree in forensic science, USA Today reported. The department welcomed Guindon and another new officer to the force in a tweet Feb. 26, telling both officers to "be safe!"

"We were struck by her passion to do this job," Hudson said, according to CNN. "She couldn't get it out of her blood. She clearly had a passion to serve others that went beyond herself."

Sources: CNN, USA Today / Photo credit: Prince William County Police Department/Twitter

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