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Army staff sergeant blamed for Va. cop's shooting death

WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- An Army staff sergeant assigned to the Pentagon was arrested on murder and other charges in the death of a police officer and another person, authorities said Sunday.

Ashley Guindon
Ashley Guindon Prince William County Police Department

Ronald Hamilton, 32, is being held without bond in the Prince William County Adult Detention Center on charges that include murder of a law enforcement officer. He is accused of shooting and killing Officer Ashley Guindon after she answered a domestic violence call at the Hamilton home Saturday evening. Two other officers were hospitalized with injuries.

The suspect is an active duty Army staff sergeant assigned to the Joint Staff Support Center at the Pentagon, according to Cindy Your, a Defense Information Systems Agency spokeswoman based at Fort Meade, Maryland.

The death of Ashley Guindon was just the latest tragedy to strike the family. Her father, David, committed suicide the day after he returned home from Iraq, where he served with the New Hampshire Air National Guard. He was buried with full military honors on Aug. 26, 2004.

"He came home and took his own life," said Dorothy Guindon, Ashley's grandmother.

Ashley was his only child.

Ashley was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. The family later moved to Merrimack, New Hampshire, according to her grandmother.

"This is really a shock to us," Dorothy Guindon said. "Ashley was such a nice person."

Guindon was a former Marine Corps reservist and had a master's degree in forensic science.

Police Chief Stephan Hudson of Prince William County says Guindon went through training with the department last year before leaving for personal reasons. She rejoined the department this year, and Saturday was her first day on patrol.

"We were struck by her passion to do this job," Hudson said. "She did share with us when we rehired her that she felt like she wanted to do this job. She couldn't get it out of her blood."

The principal of Merrimack High School said a moment of silence will be held in honor of Guindon.

Principal Ken Johnson said in a letter to the school board and staff that he had "sad and tragic news, the loss of a student."

Guindon was a 2005 graduate of the high school.

Officer Brandon Carpenter at the county's adult detention center says Hamilton is being held without bond at the jail on charges that include murder of a law enforcement officer, first-degree murder charge, two counts of malicious assault and two counts of use of a firearm during a felony.

Hamilton is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning.

CBS affiliate WUSA reports the suspect's wife is the other person killed in the incident, and she has been identified by police as Crystal Hamilton, 29.

The shooting occurred Saturday evening at Hamilton's home in Woodbridge, where neighbors say he lived with his wife and their son. Police said the boy was 11 years old.

Officers received a call around 5:30 p.m. Woodbridge, about 30 miles southwest of the nation's capital, about a "verbal argument," Perok said.

In a press release, Prince William police officials said Hamilton fired on the three responding officers as soon as they arrived at his home. He only surrendered when additional police arrived to secure the scene. Hamilton's wife is believed to have contacted police before she died.

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.

WUSA reports that two officers -- Guindon's field training officer, David McKeown, 33, and Jesse Hempen, 31 -- received non-life threatening injuries. They are being treated at Fairfax Hospital.

Ofc. Jesse Hempen, 31, and Ofc. David McKeown, 33. Prince Wlliam County Police Department via WUSA

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.

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