Pentagon Staff Sergeant Accused of Killing Rookie Cop
It was Ashley Guindon's first day on the job as a cop in Virginia when she responded to a domestic disturbance at the home of Staff Sergeant Ronald Hamilton.
Ashley Guindon, a rookie Virginia police officer, had just been sworn in on Friday and was working her first shift on Saturday night when she responded to a domestic disturbance call. It would be her last, and the man accused of shooting and killing her Saturday night worked at the Pentagon, officials said Sunday.
The suspect shooter has been identified as Ronald Hamilton, 32, originally of South Carolina. He is being held without bond on murder and assault charges at the Prince William County Adult Detention Center. He is expected to appear in court Monday.
A Defense official told The Daily Beast that he was an active duty Staff Sergeant assigned to the Defense Information Systems Agency, which supported the Joint Staff Support Services.
Hamilton’s wife, Crystal, was found dead inside. Authorities say she made the initial emergency call that brought police to their Woodbridge home. Neighbors said their 11-year-old son was seen running from the house. He is now with relatives.
“He ran so fast I can’t even imagine how scared he must have been,” neighbor Zacarius Harris told The Washington Post. “It broke my heart,” he said.
Friends mourned Crystal, known to them as Crissy, on social media as news of her death came out on Sunday. Crissy wrote on Facebook that she worked at the USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Crystal and her family during their time of grief," spokeswoman Victoria Long told The Daily Beast. "Crystal was a cherished member of the Wounded Warrior Regiment family. She made a positive impact on countless lives as she assisted our wounded, ill, and injured Marines and their families during their recovery."
"She touched the hearts of so many including ours. She was a loving and caring friend and mother," Lyn Braden-Reed wrote. "You will be deeply missed my friend. Rest peacefully in God's loving embrace."
"Words can't explain the feeling I'm feeling right now," wrote Billy Hatton. "RIP Crissy Hamilton."
Jodi Bouck Warshel described Crissy as a "much loved Recovery Care Coordinator in the Marine Wounded Warrior Regiment at Walter Reed." "The Marine Corps family lost two amazing women yesterday," she added.
Two other police officers were injured when responding to the domestic disturbance call at Hamilton’s home. All three were flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital. The other officers have been identified as David McKeown, 33, and Jesse Hempen, 31.
Guindon had studied aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and held a masters degree in forensic science. She served in the Marine Corps before joining the Prince William County Police Department and reached the rank of corporal. The Military Times reports that she was awarded the Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal as well as the National Defense Service Medal.
"We were struck by her passion to do this job," Prince William County police chief Stephan M. Hudson said at a press conference on Sunday. "She clearly had a passion to serve others in a way that went beyond herself."
After Guindon and another rookie officer were sworn in Friday, the department tweeted a photo telling them to “Be safe!”
Nancy A. Youssef contributed reporting.