'This Whole Thing Is Just Tragic': Virginia Officer Killed in the Line of Duty, During Her First Day on the Job

Virginia Police Officer Ashley Guindon Killed in Line of Duty During First Day
Prince William County police officer Ashley Guindon (center)
Source: Prince William County Police Dept/Facebook

02/28/2016 AT 11:40 AM EST

A Virginia police officer was killed Saturday – her first day on the job – while responding to a deadly domestic incident between a husband and wife, in a shooting that critically injured two other officers, police said.

Ronald Hamilton, 32, was arrested at the scene without incident, Prince William County Police Department spokesman Nathan Probus tells PEOPLE.

Hamilton is accused of one count of capital murder of a police officer, one count of first-degree murder, two counts of malicious wounding of a police officer and two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, according to a news release, and is held without bond.

Hamilton is an Army staff sergeant based at the Pentagon, Army spokesman Cindy Your confirmed to PEOPLE.

Prince William County prosecutor Paul Ebert said at a Sunday news conference he is considering seeking the death penalty for Hamilton.

'This Whole Thing Is Just Tragic': Virginia Officer Killed in the Line of Duty, During Her First Day on the Job| Crime & Courts, Personal Tragedy, Shootings, True Crime

Ronald Hamilton

Courtesy Prince William County Police Dept

Ashley Guindon, 28, had been sworn in just one day earlier when she and officers Jesse Hempen, 31, and David McKeown, 33, responded Saturday about 5:40 p.m. local time to a "domestic situation" at a home on Lashmere Court in Woodbridge, according to the news release.

"When officers arrived on scene, they approached the front door of the home and were confronted by a suspect, later identified as the accused. The accused was armed with a firearm and opened fire, striking three county police officers who sustained critical wounds," police allege in the news release.

All three officers were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, where Guidnon died from her injuries, Probus says. Hempen, an eight-and-a-half-year veteran, and McKeown, a 10-year veteran, are expected to survive, he says.

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Hamilton's wife, Crystal Hamilton, 29, was found shot to death inside the home, according to the news release.

"The investigation revealed that the accused and his wife were involved in a verbal altercation which escalated physically," according to the release. "The wife was able to contact police; however, before officers could arrive, she was allegedly shot and killed by the accused."

An 11-year-old boy was also at the home during the incident, but fled, according to the release. He was not injured and will be released into the custody of a relative, according to the release.

This is the fourth death of an officer in the line of duty in Prince William County since 1970, according to the release.

Hamilton's father told the Washington Post his son had a "very good upbringing."

"We are grieving the same as all the people in Prince William County, as well as the law enforcement community across the United States," he told the paper. "Ronald has always been a calm person and a very friendly person. He had a bright future with the Army and military. We express our thoughts and condolences to everyone who is affected."

'This Whole Thing Is Just Tragic': Virginia Officer Killed in the Line of Duty, During Her First Day on the Job| Crime & Courts, Personal Tragedy, Shootings, True Crime

Officer Jesse Hempen

Courtesy Prince William County Police Dept

'This Whole Thing Is Just Tragic': Virginia Officer Killed in the Line of Duty, During Her First Day on the Job| Crime & Courts, Personal Tragedy, Shootings, True Crime

Officer David McKeown

Courtesy Prince William County Police Dept

Ashley Guindon: 'She clearly had a passion to serve'

At a Sunday news conference, county police chief Steve Hudson described Guindon as strikingly passionate about police work and civil service.

He said she first worked with the department as a summer intern in the forensic services section, and later attended basic training in 2015, graduating in June.

She resigned her first time through field training due to personal reasons, Hudson said, but returned "some months later."

"When she came back and reapplied, we were struck by her passion to do this job," he said. She told them "she couldn't get it out of her blood," he said.

"It was something that she thought she could pour herself into," Hudson said.

"She clearly had a passion to serve others in a way that went beyond herself," he said.

"This was someone you could tell was going to be an asset to the force," says a first responder who is not authorized to speak to the press and who spoke to PEOPLE on condition of anonymity. "She seemed really enthusiastic and happy to be doing this.

"It's hit all of us hard. You never expect something like this to happen, but when it does, in your mind you don't think of it happening to someone their first day."

Another first responder told PEOPLE: "She went into this wanting to do good things."

Guindon was a decorated Marine Corp reservist, having served from May 200 to Feburary 2015 as a field radio operator, a Marine spokesman told the Associated Press. She earned the rank of corporal and was awarded both the National Defense Service Medal and the Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, according to the AP.

Guindon graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a degree in aeronautics, according to a short biography accompanying her June 2015 graduation from basic recruit school.

She has family in law enforcement, according to that bio. Her father, David, killed himself in 2004, one day after returning home from Iraq, having served with the New Hampshire Air National Guard, Guindon's grandmother, Dorothy, told the AP.

"This is really a shock to us," Dorothy told the AP. "Ashley was such a nice person."

Ashley's swearing in had been announced on the department's Facebook page Friday.

"Welcome Officer Steven Kendall and Officer Ashley Guindon who were sworn in today and begin their shifts this weekend. Please join us in wishing them safety, success and long careers with PWCPD!" the department wrote.

Outside the hospital where all three officers had initially been transported for treatment, dozens of police vehicles lined the street Sunday morning in vigil, according to the AP.

The department's Facebook page has been covered over with comments and shares, as users express their condolences about Guindon's death.

One of the top comments reads, in part, "Lord please be with Officer Guidon's family tonight. You know their situation and you are the only one that can calm their hearts. Please be with the other injured officers and wrap your healing arms around them."
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