WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WAVY) — Authorities identified the suspect accused of shooting and killing a police officer a day after she was sworn in, and wounding two of her colleagues as they responded to a call about an argument at a northern Virginia home.
A Prince William County official said the alleged shooter’s wife was also killed in the domestic dispute Saturday.
The Prince William County Adult Detention Center confirmed that the suspected gunman, identified as Ronald Hamilton, is being held in their facility without bond for the shooting. A court appearance is scheduled for Monday.
Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert said the gunman was charged with capital murder, first-degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding of a police officer, and three counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony. Virginia law allows for the death penalty for the murder of a police officer.
Officers received a call around 5:30 Saturday evening in Woodbridge, about 30 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, about a “verbal argument,” Sgt. Jonathan Perok, spokesman of the Prince William County Police Department, said.
It’s not clear how the altercation between Hamilton and police began.
The condition of the other two officers is not known.
The department announced on its Facebook page that Officer Ashley Guindon had died from the injuries she sustained in the shooting.
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.
Guindon had been a county police officer a few years ago and had left and returned to the force, Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday night. He said he did not know the exact dates of when she started and left.
Another woman was killed in the domestic call and was dead before police arrived, Stewart said, but police declined to confirm that information. Stewart also said there was a child in the house during the incident who was not harmed.
Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert told The AP Saturday night that he has authorized a capital murder charge, along with other counts, against the suspect, who has not been identified.
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.
Until Saturday evening, the big news in the police department was the planned retirement of Chief Steve Hudson, who announced two weeks ago that he will step down at the end of March, and officers’ plans to do a “polar bear” plunge on Saturday morning to raise money for Special Olympics.
Police said the incident is under investigation.
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