Alexandria, VA

Seven years to the day after he was shot in the head by a deranged cab driver in Old Town, former Alexandria Police officer Peter Laboy got his driver’s license.

The 17-year APD veteran spent years trying to legally drive again, and now after two years without any seizures and after passing all of his tests, the former motorcycle cop is back on the road and his license has no restrictions.

“Do you like my car?” Laboy asked ALXnow. “I have a brand new 2020 Kia Forte GT. I love it.”

Laboy had to go through driving therapy at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in D.C., in addition to passing written and driving tests. Looking back, he laughs at the process that took years of doctors visits and paperwork.

“I didn’t exactly ace it,” Laboy said. “I get to the written test, and the woman gives me a piece of paper and she says I need to match A with one and B with two and C with three all the way to Z. It was funny, though. I couldn’t finish doing it because, you know, if you asked me to tell you the alphabet right now I couldn’t do it. I told her that I didn’t know my alphabet. She started laughing.”

On February 27, 2013, Laboy was shot in the head by Kashif Bashir, a Woodbridge resident and cab driver who was stalking a woman in Old Town. Laboy was a motorcycle cop at the time and was stepping off his bike after pulling the cab over when Bashir shot him. Laboy’s helmet was still on, and it saved his life, and Bashir was later found not guilty for reasons of insanity. He was later arrested again after his release for allegedly setting two houses on fire, setting a car on fire and illegally buying two handguns and silencers.

After the shooting, Laboy was invited to the White House to view the July 4 fireworks by then-Vice President Joe Biden, who also dropped off donuts for him at APD headquarters. He received medals and commendations, and then left the force in 2014 and his motor unit number, Motor 8, was retired. Now, between driving to Dumfries to pick up his kids and driving around Alexandria, all he wants to do is volunteer for the police department.

“Whatever they want me to do, I’m available,” he said. “And now I’m driving, which is awesome.”

Staff photo by James Cullum

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