Officer Ashley Guindon, centre, is welcomed to the force the day before she was killed in the line of duty. Photo / Twitter
Officer Ashley Guindon, centre, is welcomed to the force the day before she was killed in the line of duty. Photo / Twitter

Police officer sworn in, then killed next day

An Army staff sergeant in the US has been charged with killing a police officer and injuring two others.

Officer Ashley Guindon died on her first day on the job while responding to a call about a possible domestic incident in the Woodbridge-Lake Ridge area south of the Prince William County, Virginia.

"When they got to the door, the suspect started shooting," Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert said.

All three officers were flown by helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital. 

A prosecutor said he would pursue a capital murder against the suspect, who the Prince William County jail identified as Ronald Hamilton. Hamilton is facing six charges and is being held without bond.

Ebert said the wife of the suspect, whom police have not identified, was found dead inside the home. The suspect was taken into custody shortly after the shooting erupted around 5:30 p.m. in the 13000 block of Lashmere Court.

The alleged gunman's father, Ronald Whaley Hamilton, a retired major with the Charleston, S.C. Police Department, said in a brief interview with The Post that he and his family learned about the shooting Saturday night and are shocked.

He said he does not know any details about the shooting, but said his son, who works in the Army, had a "very good upbringing."

The elder Hamilton said his son joined the Army at age 18 and is based at the Pentagon working in the field of information technology.

"We are grieving the same as all the people in Prince William County, as well as the law enforcement community across the United States," Hamilton said. "Ronald has always been a calm person and a very friendly person. He had a bright future with the Army and military. We express our thoughts and condolences to everyone who is affected."

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Full statement from police

the Prince William County Police Department is in deep mourning over the loss of Officer Ashley Guindon.

Our sincere condolences go out to Ashley's family and friends, as well as, our fellow officers and department staff.

We are asking for thoughts and prayers as we monitor the conditions of the two officers who remain hospitalized.

We greatly appreciate the overwhelming support we have received from our Prince William County community and from those across the nation and world.

We continue to ask for that support as we move forward with making final arrangements to honor Ashley's sacrifice.

On February 27 at 5:37PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 15000 block of Lashmere Ct in Woodbridge (22192) for an initial report of a domestic altercation.

When officers arrived on scene, they approached the front door of the home and were confronted by a suspect, later identified as the accused.

The accused was armed with a firearm and opened fire, striking three county police officers who sustained critical wounds.

Additional officers arrived at the residence and the accused surrendered to police without further incident.

Officers also provided life-saving first aid to the wounded officers until Fire & Rescue crews could get on scene.

All three officers were flown to Fairfax INOVA Hospital where one of the officers, identified as Officer Ashley Guindon, died as a result of her injuries.

After securing the suspect, officers conducted a search of the home and located an adult woman inside deceased from gunshot related injuries.

An 11-year old boy was also inside the residence at the time of the incident and fled the home at some point during the encounter.

The child was not injured and will be released to the custody of other family members.

The investigation revealed that the accused and his wife were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated physically.

The wife was able to contact police; however, before officers could arrive, she was allegedly shot and killed by the accused.

The remaining two officers shot during the encounter remain hospitalized at this time. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested and charged. More information will be released when available.

This is Prince William County's fourth line of duty death since the department's inception in 1970 and only the second officer to be killed feloniously in the line of duty.

Arrested on February 27:
Ronald Williams HAMILTON, age 32, of 13051 Lashmere Ct in Woodbridge
Charged with 1 count of captial 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
Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

Crystal Sheree HAMILTON, age 29, of Woodbridge

Fallen Officer:
Prince William County Police Officer Ashley GUINDON, age 28
Last evening was Officer Guindon's first shift after being sworn-in as a police officer on February 26

Wounded Officers:
Prince William County Police Officer Jesse HEMPEN, age 31, an 8.5 year veteran of the police department
Prince William County Police Officer David MCKEOWN, age 33, a 10 year veteran of the police department

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