A little more than a year after a Prince William County police officer was killed and two others wounded during a Woodbridge domestic, the county’s business community came together to applaud the efforts of first responders during one of the department’s darkest days in years.

The Prince William Chamber of Commerce saluted the memory of fallen Officer Ashley Guindon during its 31st annual “Valor Awards” on March 23, posthumously honoring her with a “Gold Medal for Valor” after her she died in the line of duty in February 2016. The group also presented Jesse Hempen and David McKeown, the other officers injured in the shooting, with gold medals — the chamber awarded just 20 other such medals in the entire history of the event.

The group also handed out 18 silver medals to the other police personnel that responded to the scene of the shooting and helped shepherd Hempen and McKeown to safety. The crowd of hundreds at the Hylton Performing Arts Center honored the officers with a lengthy standing ovation. Stephanie Guindon, Ashley’s aunt, accepted the award on her niece’s behalf.

“These members of the Prince William County Police Department demonstrated every attribute of a hero that day,” said Aaron Gilchrist, an anchor with NBC4 and the event master of ceremonies.

The chamber also handed out the “Hillary Robinette Award” to seven members of the county’s police department for excellence in investigative work: Det. David Cho, Det. Brandon Couch, Det. Brandon Hunt, Det. Jeremy Johnson, Det. Josh Lane, Det. Michelle McAllister and 1st. Sgt. Michael Sullivan.

After two women were sexually assaulted at a Manassas hotel, those investigators managed to set up a sting operation at the establishment to catch the perpetrator in the act. That creativity and perseverance on a difficult case involving victims that didn’t even live in the country earned the group the award, Gilchrist said.

The chamber also presented the “Valorous Unit” award to 32 members of the county’s fire and rescue department after they helped save a man who fell into a water tower in Haymarket. Lt.

Tom Klimtzak and Technician II Adam Mowry also earned a “Bronze Medal for Valor” for ultimately removing the man from the tower.

“This rescue was a complex operation requiring coordination of multiple teams,” Gilchrist said. “Thanks to the professionalism of all involved, a man’s life was saved and no time was wasted.”

Other award winners included:

Silver Medal for Valor

  • Technician II Jason Zappas, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Officer Sara Colon, Prince William County Police Department
  • Officer Gonzalo Gracia, Prince William County Police Department
  • Emergency Medical Technician Dale Parker, Stonewall Jackson Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad
  • Master Technician William Barton, Manassas Fire and Rescue Department
  • Firefighter-EMT Ian Burke, Manassas Fire and Rescue Department
  • Firefighter-EMT Dustin Clay, Manassas Fire and Rescue Department
  • Firefighter-EMT Brad Fairbanks, Manassas Fire and Rescue Department 

Bronze Medal for Valor

  • Officer Steven Hunsberger, Prince William County Police Department
  • Officer Scott Long, Prince William County Police Department
  • Carlyle Smith, Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department

Merit Award for Valor

  • Lt. Jeff Howdyshell, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician II Christopher Clark, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician II John Mory, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician I Tyler Frable, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician II Kelly Williams, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician I James Maneval, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Lt. Dave Jones, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician II Daniel Jackson, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician II Daniel McGee, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Capt. Walt Hunt, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician II Pamela Bray, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician I Daniel Worrell, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician I Edward Schmidt, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Lt. Kevin Tobey, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician II Paul Racco, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician II Aaron Dillon, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician I Asley Amezquita, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Lt. Sam Kaye, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician II Kyle Cetar, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Lt. John Hornaday, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Technician I Jeffrey McCoy, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department
  • Former 1st. Sgt. Alexis Dominguez, Prince William County Police Department
  • Officer Kevin Hook, Prince William County Police Department
  • Officer Justin Murphy, Prince William County Police Department
  • Officer Ryan Pedroni, Prince William County Police Department
  • Officer Benjamin Ware, Prince William County Police Department
  • Officer George Kimball, Prince William County Police Department
  • Officer Luis Potes, Prince William County Police Department 
  • Former Officer Jeffery McKinney, Prince William County Police Department
  • Det. Jonathan Agule, Manassas Police Department
  • Officer Lawrence Outland, Manassas Police Department
  • Officer Christopher Jones, Manassas Police Department
  • Officer Nicole Arrington, Manassas Police Department
  • Master Det. Christopher Daniels, Manassas Police Department 

Investigative Merit Award

  • Det. Bryan Sutton, Prince William County Police Department
  • Forensic Services Section/Violent Crimes Bureau, Prince William County Police Department
  • Master Det. Giovani Barahona, Manassas Police Department 
  • Senior Det. Philip Galvan, Manassas Police Department 
  • Senior Officer Tim Urey, Manassas Police Department
  • Senior Officer Dann Villanueva, Manassas Police Department 
  • Master Det. Christopher Daniels, Manassas Police Department

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