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Hope expressed for Alexandria cop shot in traffic stop

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Doctors were cautiously optimistic Thursday about the condition of an Alexandria police officer who suffered a "catastrophic" wound when he was shot in the temple during a routine traffic stop.

Standing outside of the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where Officer Peter Laboy had arrived by helicopter on Wednesday, the hospital's chief medical officer, Dr. Janis Orlowski, said surgeons had removed bullet fragments from the officer's head, and though he was unconscious he was able to move his arms and legs.

"It's remarkable he's alive after surviving a catastrophic gunshot wound to the head," she said. "The next two to three days will be critical.

Officer Laboy was shot at close range Wednesday after he pulled over a cab in Old Town Alexandria. Woodbridge resident and Pakistan native Kashif Bashir, 27, was charged Thursday in connection with the shooting and ordered held without bond.

The shooting occurred at about 11:44 a.m. near St. Asaph and Wilkes streets, after Officer Laboy approached the Alexandria Yellow Cab driver for a minor offense, police said.

Witnesses at the nearby Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy reported hearing gunshots. The school was put on lockdown and its athletic field was used as a landing site for the helicopter that transported the officer to the hospital.

Mr. Bashir drove southbound after the shooting along Washington Street and into Fairfax County, where county officers continued the pursuit.

The chase ended when Mr. Bashir collided with another car.

He was charged with malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer and use of a firearm.

Yellow Cab general manager Kyle Summers said that "all our drivers are very concerned with what happened" and the company was fully cooperating with police.

"We don't really know much about what took place," he said. "We're just really concerned with the officer and his family."

Sgt. Brian Thompson, Officer Laboy's supervisor who had been working with him several hours before the shooting, said the only thing the officer loves more than his job is his family.

"Everything Pete does centers around his family," Sgt. Thompson said. Officer Laboy, of Alexandria, is married with four children.

"He's an excellent public servant, but his family comes first," Sgt. Thompson said. He said Officer Laboy was fluent in Spanish, a skill he frequently used on the job, and was very good at handling stressful situations.

"He's a very outgoing guy, and that comes through in his skills as a hostage negotiator," Sgt. Thompson said. "He can talk to people and get them to do the right thing.

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