The suspect, a cabdriver, led police on a chase into Fairfax County moments after the shooting. His yellow minivan taxi crashed, and he was taken into custody.
It was a shocking spasm of noontime violence at Wilkes and St. Asaph streets, four blocks from the lunch rush of King Street’s shops and restaurants. After the pop of a gunshot, teachers at Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy hustled children, who had been on the school’s playground during recess, into the building. The school then remained on lockdown as police and emergency crews flooded the nearby streets and a helicopter landed on the school’s ballfield to take Laboy to the hospital.
“They told us we were not going outside because there was a bad accident,” said Jackson Merrill, a second-grader at the school who was inside when the shooting happened. “Then we got a paper that said a police officer was shot. I felt scared.”
Authorities said the cabdriver, whom they identified as Kashif Bashir, 27, of Woodbridge, came to the attention of police Tuesday after women working at a boutique off King Street complained that he had made them uncomfortable in the store. The man was getting too physically close to employees, they told a nearby shop owner.
The cabdriver arrived at the store again late Wednesday morning. After he left, employees called police and told the responding officers which direction they saw him go, authorities said.
Laboy, a motorcycle officer, found the cab several blocks away, near the elementary school, police said. It was unclear what kind of exchange the two men had, but police say the cabdriver shot Laboy once in the head.
As the man drove off, a lookout was issued for the minivan taxi, police said.
When a patrol officer spotted the cab and tried to stop it, the driver sped away, police said.
With officers in pursuit, Bashir crashed on Fort Hunt Road near Belle View Boulevard and was taken into custody, police said. He has been charged with malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
On Wednesday night at Washington Hospital Center, Alexandria Police Chief Earl L. Cook said investigators were working to piece together the events leading to the shooting. “It will take days, if not weeks, for us to put together what happened in this horrific incident,” he said.
Cook said Laboy, whom he described as a “cop’s cop,” is married, has children and volunteers in city schools.
“I’ve known Peter for a long time and words cannot express how we feel about this horrific event,” Cook said. “Our prayers go out to Peter and his family as he struggles to regain his life.”
The shooting also left parents at Lyles-Crouch upset and confused. Police initially said a police officer had been struck by a car. But at 1:15 p.m., the school sent an e-mail to parents saying two shots had been fired and an officer had been hit.