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Man Who Shot Cop In Head Gets Out With Insanity Plea, Reoffends

Cab driver Kashif Bashir shot Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy in the head in 2013.

Prince William County, VA – A man who shot an Alexandria police officer in the head and was found not guilty by reason of insanity has been arrested for new offenses of arson and weapons possession.

Kashif Bashir, 33, opened fire on Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy on Feb. 27, 2013, after the motorcycle patrol officer pulled Bashir over in Old Town, WRC reported.

Officers pursued Bashir, who eventually crashed in Mt. Vernon, and took him into custody.

While Bashir sat in jail awaiting trial for attempted capital murder and aggravated malicious wounding, the injured officer struggled to recover from the effects of his horrific gunshot wound.

He had to learn to speak and to walk again, and was ultimately forced to retire from the career he loved due to his traumatic brain injury, WRC reported.

A long scar across his head serves as a sobering reminder of the miraculous recovery the father of four has made, but his life has irreversibly changed.

“I’m not 100 percent the way I was before,” Laboy told WRC in a 2018 interview.

During his 2014 trial, psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Scheneman testified that Bashir, a cab driver, was a paranoid schizophrenic. He said that on the day of the shooting, a voice told Bashir to rape or murder a woman, shoot an officer, and to lead police on a pursuit.

On Oct. 2, 2014, Bashir was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and was remanded to the custody of the Commonwealth’s Commissioner of Behavioral Health, WUSA reported.

He was later transferred to the North Virginia Mental Health Institute, but his mental health treatment providers and lawyer ultimately determined that he was well enough to live on his own in an apartment in Prince William County, and said he no longer exhibited any symptoms of schizophrenia, WRC reported.

“He responded so well to treatment,” Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute forensic evaluator Dr. Ashley Harron said. “There would be no need to hospitalize him if there hadn’t been this really horrific act.”

Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter argued against the request, and told the court that Bashir needed to be consistently monitored – not “left to his own devices.”

“He told officers he decided to have some fun, rape a girl, get a gun, and shoot a police officer,” Porter reminded the judge. “[His] freedom is incompatible with public safety.”

In June of 2018, Circuit Court Judge James Clark allowed the alleged attempted murderer to move into an apartment in Prince William County.

“Up to this time, I cannot even drive, so why am I suffering from what he did and now he’s going to get out and walk free on the street?” Laboy asked WRC at the time.

The former officer said that his injury also contributed to the breakup of his marriage.

“Supposedly he’s not able to get a gun, but…anybody can get a gun anywhere,” Laboy continued. “And I don’t know what’s in his mind.”

“I hope that what I went through doesn’t happen to anybody else,” the former officer said at the time.

Clark imposed conditions on Bashir’s release, including the requirement that he participate in at least 40 hours per week in programming arranged by the Community Services Board, WRC reported.

He was also prohibited from having or operating a vehicle, and could not travel more than 50 miles away from his home.

The mental health team was ordered to have three contacts with Bashir each week – two of which were mandated to occur at Bashir’s residence.

“There are going to be a lot of eyes on you,” Clark warned Bashir.

But on Friday, Bashir was arrested in connection with a fire that erupted at a residence in Manassas just two days earlier, WTOP reported.

A similar incident occurred in Bristow, Prince William County fire investigators noted.

Bashir has been charged with one count of arson, two counts of attempted arson, and two misdemeanor offenses of insane person in possession of a gun, WTOP reported.

Porter said that warned the court that Bashir was dangerous, and that he now plans to file a motion to revoke the attempted cop-killer’s conditional release.

“I vehemently objected to Mr. Bashir being released, not out of vengeance, but out of true concern for public safety,” he said. “I regret that my apprehensions have so quickly been proven correct.”

“I absolutely believe that our current system for addressing the intersection of public safety and mental health is deeply flawed — perhaps this unfortunate situation can provide the impetus for change,” he added.

Laboy said he was not surprised to learn that Bashir has already reoffended, and expressed frustration that Clark did not heed his warnings.

“[It was] only a matter of time before [messed] up again,” the former officer said. “And, there he goes.”

Bashir is due back in court on Mar. 8.

Holly Matkin - February Sun, 2019


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