WASHINGTON — One year after Prince William County Officer Ashley Guindon was shot and killed, her mother still struggles to talk about the death of her daughter.
But Sharon Guindon wanted to thank the many people in the community who supported her family in the chaotic hours and days after the shooting. And she penned a moving thank-you letter that details the deeds of many of those who stepped in to help.
Guindon was shot while answering a domestic violence call in Woodbridge on her first day on the job. She was 28. Two other officers were also shot and were seriously wounded. They have since returned to work.
Crystal Hamilton was also shot and killed.
“Words cannot express our gratitude and sincere appreciation for such a wonderful, caring community of people that whole-heartily provided their friendship, kindness, sympathy, prayers, and generosity — all of which will remain with us forever,” the letter states.
Ashley Guindon’s aunt Stephanie Guindon said it really was so important for Ashley’s mother to get the letter done for the anniversary and she wanted to get it right.
“I think the most important thing for Sharon was to convey how grateful she is for all the support. The prayers, everything the community has done in their own way whether it’s sending a letter to her, posting things on Facebook or these fundraisers in her (Ashley’s) honor. There are so many of them,” Stephanie Guindon said.
The amazing outpouring of love is something that the family still holds onto to help them make it through. Stephanie Guindon said that it is hard to believe a year has passed.
Sharon and Stephanie Guindon will ride in memory of Ashley during the annual Law Enforcement United Bike Ride from Chesapeake to D.C. The May ride brings awareness to fallen law enforcement officers and raises money for C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors).
Police Chief Barry Barnard posted a message on the department’s Facebook page remembering both women who were killed and thanking the community for its support.
“The loss of Ashley has changed our lives. Ashley was a daughter, veteran, squad mate and friend. She had a true passion to serve and to give back through her service both here in the Police Department and in the Marine Corps Reserves. All to help make a difference in the lives of those she served. Ashley answered her calling to police work and we will never forget her or her sacrifice.”