Hundreds pay their respects to fallen rookie officer
SPRINGFIELD, MASS. >> A Virginia policewoman who was fatally shot her first day on the job was laid to rest next to her father in a Massachusetts cemetery Monday after a stirring tribute from hundreds of officers from around the country who came to pay their final respects.
The flag-draped casket of 28-year-old Ashley Guindon made its way from a funeral home to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Springfield along a route lined by hundreds of saluting officers standing next to their motorcycles. Hundreds more stood at attention outside the church before filing inside to the sound of a bagpiper.
The Rev. Mark Stelzer, himself the son of a former Springfield police chief, noted during his homily the risks officers face every day.
"Those of us who grew up in a law enforcement family know firsthand the constant fear that any day of a loved one's duty as a police officer could be his or her last day of duty," he said. "Any day could spell the end of watch."
Guindon was killed Feb. 27 while responding to a domestic dispute at a home in Woodbridge, Virginia, her first day with the Prince William County Police Department. An Army staff sergeant assigned to the Pentagon was arrested on murder and other charges in the death of Guindon and another person.
"She came to our department all too briefly with such passion, drive and a desire to serve," Stephan Hudson, police chief of Prince William County, said in his eulogy.
Guindon spent her early years in western Massachusetts before her family moved to New Hampshire.
After the funeral, her hearse was accompanied to St. Thomas the Apostle cemetery in West Springfield by dozens of police motorcycles as schoolchildren and other residents lined the streets. A Marine Corps honor guard stood at attention for the former Marine reservist at the cemetery.
Guindon was laid to rest next to her father, David, who died in 2004.
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