Ashely M. Guindon, a reservist for the U.S. Marine Corps, juggled her military service and college career to earn a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and forensics. After graduating, she decided to enroll in the police academy in Prince William County, Virginia to continue serving the community. She was happily sworn in as a police officer last Friday.
The next day, Guindon was killed in the line of duty by a Pentagon employee.
On her very first day as a policewoman, Guindon and two other officers responded to a domestic violence call. When they arrived at the residence, Staff Sgt. Ronald Williams Hamilton opened fire. He fatally shot Guindon and critically wounded two other officers. Before police arrived, Hamilton also killed his wife Crystal Hamilton. Their 11 year-old son was unhurt.
Hamilton is now in police custody, where he will be charged for capital murder of a police officer, first-degree murder and two counts of malicious wounding of a police officer.
Guindon’s sudden death shocked her department and her community.
“We’re here first and foremost to honor and remember Ashley, to praise her life and her service and her sacrifice,” her police chief said at a vigil on Sunday. “It was in her blood. She felt passion for doing it.”
The police chief was referencing Guindon’s father, an Air National Guardsman who served during the Iraq War in 2004 and committed suicide one day after returning home.
Hamilton’s violent actions also took his family by surprise. According to his father, the gunman joined the Army at age 18 and has served in the military ever since. Hamilton’s wife also worked with the Wounded Warrior Regiment in Bethesda, Maryland, where she assisted wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.