ALEXANDRIA, Va (WUSA9) -- The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce honored heroes on Thursday and a police officer recovering from injuries he suffered in a shooting in Old Town received an award.
Alexandria Police Officer Peter Laboy received its highest honor, the gold medal of valor, for putting his life on the line during a traffic stop in which he was shot in the head.
Laboy smiled at the camera, and laughed among friends and colleagues at the 28th Annual Public Safety Valor Awards.
"I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped me, my wife, the department, the city, everybody," Laboy said.
Sgt. Brian Thompson, Laboy's Motor Supervisor said "it shows the community supports Pete and everything he went through and how important he was on that day. He is truly a hero to all of us. The valor award is more than deserved."
More than a year ago in February, Laboy was shot in the head after making a traffic stop on a cab driver on S. Saint Asaph Street.
Since then, it's been a long road living with a traumatic brain injury that sometimes triggers seizures. He's undergoing intense therapy, but the healing has been nothing short of a remarkable recovery.
"I'm doing better, I'm doing better. One day at a time, waiting to get better and see what happens," said Laboy.
Nearly 20 others kept Laboy alive. They were also recognized today.
Among those recognized were Officer Frank Powers, who first responded and found Laboy on his back next to his motorcycle, the fire fighters and medics who helped stabilize him, initially not knowing he had been shot, US Park Police officers who transported Laboy by helicopter and other officers who chased after the cab driver and ultimately arrested the suspect.
"Everyone reaching out at critical moments, each one was an important piece in Peter's success. We have him today to smile and say we love you Peter, we have a future Peter and we all feel wonderful about that," said Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook.
"They saved his life. Everyone who touched him that day saved his life. I owe them greatly. I can't do it without them, without the support of everybody. Every day is different and so they are people I can count on keeping me strong so I can take care of him and the family the best that I can," said Suzanne Laboy.
Suspect Kashif Bashir faces four attempted capital murder charges and other firearms violations.
A judge still has to rule him competent to stand trial. A review is expected in June.