David Baker, a former Alexandria police chief, says Officer Peter Laboy is a devoted family man who is well liked by his fellow police officers and has proved to be a steady presence on Alexandria’s streets throughout his career with the department.
• See: Update on Condition of Officer Shot in Alexandria
“He’s a good man, a good and decent man,” Baker said. “He’s an outstanding and distinguished public servant. … He’s very popular with his colleagues, a fun guy to be around and a real caring individual.”
Laboy, 45, remains in critical condition at Medstar Washington Hospital after being shot in the head Wednesday morning during a routine traffic stop in Old Town.
Baker, who was second-in-command with the Alexandria Police Department when Laboy joined the force, said he approved Laboy’s transfer to the APD Motor Unit when he was police chief.
“As I travel around the city now, from my house in Alexandria to Goodwin House where I work, I can tell you more frequently than not I see Peter on the street working,” Baker said.
Laboy, a city resident, is a 17-year veteran of the department. He served as a patrol officer before transferring to the Motor Unit six years ago. He has spent his whole career on the street.
Baker said on Tuesday, the day before the shooting, Laboy pulled up beside Baker’s car when he was stopped at a stoplight and gave him a honk and a wave.
“I’m grateful we connected in that way,” Baker said.
Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne worked with Laboy for several years when he was with the Alexandria Police Department.
"Peter is a not only an excellent police officer, but a great guy and a dedicated family man," Lawhorne said. "He has always been committed to serving the public and to his mission as a law enforcement officer."
Baker said Laboy frequently posts photos of his family on his Facebook page and will often tell friends how proud he is of them.
"Mango" Mike Anderson, owner of three restaurants in Alexandria, said Laboy once helped catch someone who was stealing from Mango Mike's Caribbean Restaurant in the West End. Laboy also found Anderson's dog when it was lost.
"I got a phone call and he said 'I think I have your dog,'" Anderson said. "He's just a really nice guy."
Laboy was responding to a look out from the department for a yellow cab minivan on Wednesday. Soon after Laboy approached the cab, the Department of Emergency Communications began receiving emergency calls reporting an officer down.
“This really does bring to the forefront how dangerous and unpredictable unseen things can become,” Baker said. “It was a look out for this cab for some minor offense. He certainly was not expecting how it turned out. You get surprised and it can be devastating.”
Lawhorne said the men and women of the Alexandria Sheriff's Office continue to pray for Laboy and offer support to their Alexandria police colleagues.
Old Town Alexandria Patch Editor Sharon McLoone contributed to this report.
Read more on the Laboy incident:
- Lyles-Crouch in Lockdown Mode During Police Shooting
- Officer Peter Laboy in Critical Condition After Shooting
- Update: Police Officer Shot Identified as Peter Laboy