Man Who Nearly Killed Officer in 2013 Went to Shooting Range Before Recent Arrest, Docs Say

A judge granted Kashif Bashir's release from a mental institution last summer

The man who shot and almost killed a Virginia police officer in 2013 and was released from a mental hospital last year was practicing his shooting skills before he was recently arrested on multiple arson and gun charges, according to court documents.

Kashif Bashir, 33, was arrested Friday in connection to two separate incidents on Feb. 6, Prince William County Assistant Fire Chief Matt Smolsky told News4.

Smolsky said Bashir faces three felony charges, including burning or destroying a dwelling or house and two charges for trying to burn personal property. He also faces two misdemeanor charges of an acquitted insane person in possession of a gun.

According to a search warrant filed in Fairfax County, Bashir was doing target practice before the arrests and authorities seized video and receipts from Sharpshooters Indoor Range and Pro Shop in Lorton. An investigator wrote in the documents that Bashir admitted to practice shooting at the range.

Police found two loaded 9 mm handguns, a handgun silencer and a book with a bullet hole through it during a search of Bashir's Woodbridge apartment, the documents say.

In June 2018, Circuit Court Judge James Clark ruled Kashif Bashir could move from the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute into an apartment in Prince William County where he would have frequent visits from a mental health team.

Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy was on motorcycle patrol in Old Town Feb. 27, 2013, when he tried to pull over Bashir for suspicious activity. Bashir shot Laboy in the head, then led police on a chase before he crashed and was arrested in the Mt. Vernon area.

But Bashir, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, was found not guilty by reason of insanity after trial evidence showed a voice in his head commanded him to shoot Laboy.

Because of his injuries, Laboy had to retire from the job he loved.

Supporters in police uniforms or “Laboy Strong” shirts were with him in court in June, when Bashir was granted a conditional release.

“Everybody says, ‘How you doing?’” he said. “I tell everybody, ‘I'm still here.’”

Mental health professionals told Clark that Bashir had been symptom-free for at least three years and no longer heard the voices that once told him to rape a woman and shoot a police officer. He was gradually given more privileges.

"He responded so well to treatment,” said Dr. Ashley Harron, the forensic evaluator at the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute. “There would be no need to hospitalize him if there hadn't been this really horrific act.”

Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter asked the judge to reject the request.

“He needs to be monitored on a daily basis by mental health professionals and not left to his own devices,” Porter said.

Porter reminded the judge of Bashir's words to police after he was arrested, suggesting his actions were not fueled entirely by schizophrenia.

"He told officers he decided to have some fun, rape a girl, get a gun and shoot a police officer,” Porter said.

He added, "Freedom is incompatible with public safety."

Bashir’s release came with conditions. The mental health team was required to visit Bashir at least three times a week, including two times in his home. He couldn't travel 50 miles beyond his apartment. And he couldn't own or drive a car.

“There are going to be a lot of eyes on you,” the judge told Bashir last year, warning him that if he doesn’t follow the plan he would lose his freedom.

Bashir was also ordered to spend at least 40 hours a week in programs set up through the Community Services Board.

"This is another small step,” defense attorney Emily Beckman said. “It's not a huge jump."

“I feel good about that, the more restrictions, that feels better,” Laboy said.

But he said he'll continue to worry about what could happen if Bashir's mental health declines again.

“I'm concerned about my family, me, other officers,” he said. “I can't really forget about that.”

Under questioning by Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Molly Sullivan, doctors admitted Bashir had broken the rules at least once during an earlier phase. He'd been given permission to go to a mosque for services but instead was seen leaving a movie theater with a female friend. Bashir initially lied about what had happened. He lost privileges for a time, but they were later restored.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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