You would think someone who shot a cop in the head would be kept on ice for a good long time. Not in Virgina. Kashif Bashir got better, his psychiatrists said, so they set the 36-year-old ex-maniac free to begin a whole new career in arson and stalking. Hopefully, they won’t be letting him loose on the public again for a while.
Cop shot in the head
Usually, intentionally shooting a cop in the head gets you put away for life. Not in this case. Kashif Bashir is expected to plead guilty to fresh charges, after prosecutors alleged he “set his mental health therapist’s home on fire.” That wasn’t nice.
He also “attempted to start a second mental health provider’s home ablaze and was tracking a third provider’s movements using a tracking device he’d placed on her vehicle.” The surprising thing is that he was out on the street in the first place.
On February 27, 2013, Bashir was working as a cab driver when Officer Peter Laboy pulled him over. He was allegedly “stalking a woman in Old Town” at the time. Police relate that “officer Laboy was still getting off of his patrol motorcycle when Bashir shot him in the head.” Backup patrol chased him down and they arrested him after he crashed.
Prosecutors in the current case note that “while Bashir sat in jail awaiting trial for attempted capital murder and aggravated malicious wounding, the injured officer struggled to recover from the effects of his horrific gunshot wound.” That wasn’t easy. “He had to learn to speak and to walk again, and was ultimately forced to retire from the career he loved due to his traumatic brain injury.”
Bashir was found “not guilty” of shooting the officer in the head. He was too insane to know it was wrong. At his trial in 2014, “Dr. Daniel Scheneman testified that Bashir was a paranoid schizophrenic.” That makes it alright. “On the day of the shooting, a voice told Bashir to rape or murder a woman, shoot an officer, and to lead police on a pursuit.” He did.
The Commonwealth’s Commissioner of Behavioral Health stashed him in the North Virginia Mental Health Institute and forgot all about him. Now, he’s been “indicted on felony attempted arson, arson, making a false statement on a consent form to purchase a firearm, unauthorized use of an electronic device, nine counts of misdemeanor stalking, and possession of a firearm acquitted by reason of insanity.”
No more symptoms
After a few years went by and Bashir remained a model patient, everyone on his care team forgot he was there for shooting a cop in the head. His “mental health treatment providers and lawyer ultimately determined that he was well enough to live on his own in an apartment in Prince William County, and said he no longer exhibited any symptoms of schizophrenia.”
Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute forensic evaluator Dr. Ashley Harron noted, “there would be no need to hospitalize him if there hadn’t been this really horrific act.”
Since he was all better, why keep him in a cage? To protect the public, they didn’t say. His therapists soon learned what a big mistake that was. When they were kicking around his release, Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter was totally against it.
He told the judge that shooting a cop in the head means that “Bashir needed to be consistently monitored, not left to his own devices.” After all, he “told officers he decided to have some fun, rape a girl, get a gun, and shoot a police officer. Freedom is incompatible with public safety.” In June of 2018, Circuit Court Judge James Clark gave him freedom.
The mental health team was supposed to keep close tabs on him, whether he was still crazy in the head or not. They were “ordered to have three contacts with Bashir each week – two of which were mandated to occur at Bashir’s residence.” Right under their eyes, only “eight months later, Bashir was arrested for allegedly torching the Prince William County home of a mental health therapist he had been meeting with five days per week.”
He wasn’t supposed to have a gun but he got one. And a silencer. “He also allegedly illegally purchased a firearm by lying on a criminal history check, tried to burn down another therapist’s home, and put a tracking device on a third therapist’s car.” This time, he “faces five years to life on the arson charge, and one to 10 years on the false statement on a criminal history check offense.“