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Suspect Freed After Shooting Cop In Head Goes On To Burn Down Therapist’s Home In Crime Spree

Manassas, VA – A gunman found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2013 shooting of an Alexandria police officer is expected to plead guilty next week to having set his mental health therapist’s home on fire.

Kashif Bashir, 36, also allegedly attempted to start a second mental health provider’s home ablaze and was tracking a third provider’s movements using a tracking device he’d placed on her vehicle, WTOP reported.

Bashir was working as a cab driver on Feb. 27, 2013, when Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy pulled him over as Bashir was stalking a woman in Old Town, Alexandria Now reported.

Investigators said officer Laboy was still getting off of his patrol motorcycle when Bashir shot him in the head, according to WRC.

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 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 would-be killer 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.

Just eight months later, Bashir was arrested for allegedly torching the Prince William County home of a mental health therapist he had been meeting with five days per week, WTOP reported.

He also allegedly illegally purchased a firearm by lying on a criminal history check, tried to burn down another therapist’s home, and put a tracking device on a third therapist’s car, according to prosecutors.

Bashir was indicted on felony attempted arson, arson, making a false statement on a consent form to purchase a firearm, unauthorized use of an electronic device, nine counts of misdemeanor stalking, and possession of a firearm acquitted by reason of insanity, WTOP reported.

In 2020, federal prosecutors said they plan to charge Bashir for allegedly purchasing a “silencer” once his state charges are adjudicated.

Porter said Bashir’s latest crimes were exactly what he had tried to prevent by issuing his previous warnings to the court.

“I vehemently objected to Mr. Bashir being released, not out of vengeance, but out of true concern for public safety,” he told WTOP in 2019. “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 had 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.”

Sources said Bashir plans to plead guilty on Jan. 18 to the use of a tracking device, firearm possession, arson, and making false statements on a criminal history check charges, WTOP reported.

He faces five years to life on the arson charge, and one to 10 years on the false statement on a criminal history check offense.

Porter has also filed a motion to revoke Bashir’s prior conditional release, WTOP reported.

That case is expected to resume after the arson case is wrapped up.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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