Lyles Crouch students, families pay tribute to wounded Alexandria police officer Peter Laboy

By Derrick Perkins

Police Chief Earl Cook dropped by Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy on Friday morning to accept roughly $3,000 in donations for officer Peter Laboy, who is recovering from a gunshot wound he suffered not far from the Old Town elementary school.

Students and their families raised the funds in the weeks since Laboy’s near-fatal confrontation with a taxi cab driver at the intersection of S. St. Asaph and Wilkes streets. A 17-year veteran of the department, Laboy was shot in the head during what authorities describe as a routine traffic stop. Emergency responders repurposed the school’s playing field as a landing pad for the U.S. Parks Police helicopter that ferried Laboy to a Washington hospital in the minutes after the shooting.

Ribbons now adorn a stretch of the fence not far from where Laboy collapsed. After accepting the donation, Cook added to the display, tying a thin strand of blue cloth onto the chain-link fence. He was joined by members of the school’s grandparents club.

Cook also lauded the school’s response following the tragedy, saying their emergency response plan was very well done and executed.

Laboy continues to recuperate from his wounds. His wife, Suzanne, has documented his recovery through an online journal.

“Three weeks ago today our lives changed. While Peter has made huge advances in his recovery, we will never forget what occurred during that tragic day, Feb 27th,” she wrote earlier this week. “Thanks to all who have helped out daily with my family. Thanks to all for the huge outpour of prayers, support and love. We are touched and we love you all back.”

Friday’s tribute is one of dozens scheduled since the tragic confrontation. Organizations and businesses across the city have held fundraisers and blood drives to honor Laboy and support his family.

Kashif Bashir, the man police say shot Laboy and then led officers on a high speed chase, is expected in court in April.

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