Pentagon says employee is suspect in killings

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.

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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, an Army 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 upon returning from Iraq, where he served with the New Hampshire Air National Guard.

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

She said Ashley was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. The family later moved to Merrimack, New Hampshire.

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

Officer Brandon Carpenter at the county's adult detention centre 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.

Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert told The Associated Press on Sunday morning that the gunman's wife was the victim in the domestic incident. He did not provide her name.

The shooting occurred Saturday evening at Hamilton's home in Woodbridge, where neighbours say he lived with his wife and their 10-year-old son.

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.

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 did not know the exact dates of when she started and left, he said.

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 neighbourhood, 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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