(WJLA) - Alexandria police officer Peter Laboy’s road to recovery has been a long and difficult one.
"I'm doing better. One day at a time," he said.
These men and women have been by his side every step of the way, beginning with the moment on February 27, 2013, when Laboy was shot in the head while making a traffic stop.
"It feels good to be able to see everybody that was there and everybody that helped," Laboy said.
At Thursday’s Alexandria Valor Awards, Laboy received a gold medal – the highest honor for valor and heroism. Park Police Sergeant Kevin Chittick, the helicopter pilot who flew Laboy to MedStar Washington Hospital Center after quickly doing an emergency landing in a school playground, is receiving a bronze medal.
"Got there as quick as we could," said Chittick. "When we got to the hospital we really didn't know if he was gonna survive, to be honest with you."
Then there is Alexandria officer Kammy Stern, who came up in the department with Laboy. She now has a silver medal for catching the shooting suspect, Kashif Bashir, in nearby Fairfax County.
"Being able to capture the person who hurt my friend and my co-worker, that was my reward. This is just a bonus," she said.
For Laboy and his wife Suzanne, the past year has brought both pain and perspective:
"We just enjoy the day and live life to the fullest," said Suzanne.
"IfI can go back to work, then I guess we'll go back to work," smiles Peter.
Bashir was set to stand to stand trial later this spring, but he has been deemed mentally incompetent to do so by a judge. He will continue to undergo psychiatric evaluation as his trial remains on hold indefinitely.