FISHERS, Ind. — Friday was the beginning of the goodbyes to Officer Noah Shahnavaz.
The 24-year-old had not been an Elwood police officer for a full year before he was murdered in a traffic stop early Sunday morning.
Shahnavaz’ church home was the I-Town church in Fishers, and that is where visitation was held for the slain officer. Video from inside shows Shahnavaz’ flag-draped coffin. The room was filled with fellow officers standing shoulder to shoulder.
During the brief ceremony to start the vigil, Elwood Police Chief Jason Brizendine said, “Officer Noah Jacob Shanavaz courageously stood his post representing what is best in society, going into places the average person fears to tread, seeing things no one wants to see. By simply putting on his uniform and going to work every day, Noah made this country a better place to live.”
Carl Board II, age 42, of Marion, was arrested and charged with the officer’s murder.
Cops from around the state and from as far away as Texas and New York State arrived to pay their respects at Friday’s vigil and Saturday’s funeral. Helping coordinate arrangements is the Indiana Fraternal Order of Police Critical Incident Memorial Team.
A member of that team is South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski.
“We’re here to help put one of our brother’s to rest and give the family hopefully some type of closure or at least a component of closure,” said Ruszkowski.
Visible throughout the week has been the noted motorcycle-riding Patriot Guard, which is commonly invited to funerals for police officers and military service members.
Bob Patterson, from Muncie and a member of the Patriot Guard, said his organization was invited to take part in honoring Shahnavaz. Around the Elwood police headquarters, the group erected 200-plus American flags. More were put up around the venue for Friday’s visitation.
“We don’t know these people. Never met them, but they deserve the honor that we give ‘em,” said Patterson.
Patterson said he does not know how many police funeral he’s attended since joining the Patriot Guard in 2014.
How does he deal with so much tragedy?
Patterson said, “I cry a lot.”