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Sunday 21 January 2018

Newly-returned policewoman shot dead on domestic call

Officer Ashley Guindon pictured being welcomed back to the force (Prince William County Police Department/AP)
Officer Ashley Guindon pictured being welcomed back to the force (Prince William County Police Department/AP)
Police at the scene of the shooting in Woodbridge, Virginia (AP)

A police officer on her first shift after returning to the force has been shot dead and two of her colleagues wounded after responding to a domestic call about an argument.

Officers received a call at around 5.50pm on Saturday in Woodbridge, just outside Alexandria, Virginia, about a "verbal argument", Sergeant Jonathan Perok of Prince William County police said.

He said a military serviceman was in custody and facing a capital murder charge.

Newly-sworn in Officer Ashley Guindon died "as a result of her injuries sustained during the incident", the police department said on its Facebook page

Ms Guindon was a county police officer a few years ago and had left, then returned to the force, Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, said.

A picture of Ms 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.

Mr Stewart said another woman was killed in the domestic incident, but police would not confirm that information. He also said there was a child in the house who was not harmed.

Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert said he had authorised a capital murder charge, along with other counts, against the suspect.

The shooting happened in the Lake Ridge neighbourhood, on a curving street with two-storey homes with values approaching half-a-million dollars, according to county tax records, each with brick and siding exteriors, four bedrooms, multiple bathrooms and double garages.

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 would step down at the end of March, and officers' plans for a "polar bear" plunge on Saturday morning to raise money for Special Olympics.

More than 100 patrol cars lined the roads outside Inova Fairfax Hospital early on Sunday morning to stand vigil and provide an escort to the medical examiner for the body of Ms Guindon.

The suspect will make his first court appearance on Monday.

Press Association

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