WOODBRIDGE, Va. - A Prince William County Police Officer killed in the line of duty is being remembered fondly for her passion for law enforcement. A vigil was held at the county complex Sunday night to honor 28-year-old Ashley Guindon, a rookie officer who was sworn in to serve just one day before she was shot.
Guindon and two other officers were shot on Saturday after responding to a domestic violence call with two other officers in Woodbridge. Also killed in the incident was Crystal Hamilton, the wife of alleged shooter Ronald Hamilton. Two other officers, Jesse Hempen, 31, an eight-year veteran of department; and David McKeown, 33, a 10-year veteran, were also shot. They are expected to recover.
Guindon was only about an hour and a half into her first shift as a member of the force when she was gunned down.
"We were struck by her passion to do this job," Police Chief Stephan Hudson said at a news conference Sunday. "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. She clearly had a passion to serve others in a way that went beyond herself."
Guindon had gone through training with the department last year before leaving for personal reasons. She had been sworn in on Friday, which the department marked with a celebratory tweet.
Hundreds attended Sunday night's vigil, which was held only about five minutes away from the neighborhood where the shooting took place. Many people carried candles, and some wore badges with black ribbons in tribute to Guindon. The sound of bag pipes playing set the tone.
In attendance were her fellow officers and friends, as well as many from the community who had never met her. But even though Guindon's time in service with the department was short, many who spoke to FOX 5 said that didn't matter. She was a member of their family, regardless of how long she served.
Many who spoke said Guindon did not lose her life in vain, and in fact that she may be responsible for saving the life of the Hamiltons 11-year-old son, who was also at home at the time of the shooting. He was not injured.
Officer Guindon's line-of-duty death is the fourth in the 46-year history of the Prince William County Police Department, and it's only the second time a county officer has been slain maliciously, according to officials.
Her death was not the first tragedy to strike her family. Her father, David, killed himself the day after he returned home from Iraq, where he served with the New Hampshire Air National Guard. "He came home and took his own life," Dorothy Guindon, Ashley's grandmother, told The Associated Press. He was buried with full military honors on Aug. 26, 2004.
Ashley was his only child. She was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the family later moved to Merrimack, New Hampshire, her grandmother said.
"This is really a shock to us," Dorothy Guindon said. "Ashley was such a nice person."
Mark Doyle, the police chief in Merrimack, told The AP that his officers escorted Guindon's mother and aunt to the airport to fly to Virginia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.