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Hero Down: Elwood Police Officer Noah Shahnavaz Murdered By Gunman

Elwood, IN – Elwood Police Department (EPD) Officer Noah Shahnavaz was murdered in the line of duty while conducting a traffic stop on a convicted felon early Sunday morning, according to investigators.

The incident began at approximately 2 a.m. on July 31, when Officer Shahnavaz stopped a 2012 Buick La Crosse near the intersection of County Road 1100 N and State Road 37, WTHR reported.

Investigators said the driver, later identified as 42-year-old career criminal Carl Roy Webb Boards, immediately opened fire on the 24-year-old officer.

“For an unknown reason, the suspect exited the Buick and fired multiple rounds, striking the officer at least one time,” the Indiana State Police (ISP) said in a press release, according to WRTV.

According to court records, Boards fired a total of 36 rounds at Officer Shahnavaz, who never even had the opportunity to draw his duty weapon to defend himself, WRTV reported.

Police said Boards then fled the scene in the Buick, leaving the wounded officer behind.

Additional officers arrived at the scene and located Officer Shahnavaz still sitting inside his patrol car, WRTV reported.

They immediately began rendering first aid to Officer Shahnavaz until emergency medical personnel rushed him to Ascension St. Vincent Mercy hospital in Elwood, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Officer Shahnavaz was then airlifted to Ascension St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, where he succumbed to his wounds.

According to court documents, the young officer had been shot twice in the head and multiple times in his body.

“Based on the severe trauma to Officer Noah Shahnavaz’s body, it is unclear of the number of times that he was shot,” the arrest affidavit read, according to WRTV.

Meanwhile, deputies from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) spotted the suspect vehicle on State Road 37 at approximately 2:30 a.m., WTHR reported.

Boards refused to pull over, so deputies utilized a tire deflation device near 146th Street and State Road 37.

The fleeing felon continued driving onto Interstate 69, where Fishers Police Department (FPD) officers attempted to stop him by using their patrol vehicles, WTHR reported.

The first pursuit intervention technique (PIT) attempt was not successful, but the second attempt caused Boards to crash into a median barrier, where he came to a stop.

ISP Sergeant Scott Keegan said the suspect subsequently “gave up” and was arrested “without further incident,” WRTV reported.

He was taken into custody on Interstate 69 near 106th Street, according to WTHR.

Investigators said they recovered a black rifle with a high-capacity magazine and a 9mm handgun inside the suspect’s vehicle, WRTV reported.

They also allegedly found a second high-capacity magazine during a search of Boards’ barbershop, Webb’s Cut Care, located in the 500-block of Washington Street in Marion.

Boards has since been charged with two counts of resisting law enforcement, murder, and possession of a firearm as a serious violent felon, WRTV reported.

Madison County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Andrew said additional enhancements due to Boards’ status as a habitual offender will apply, and that his office will consider pursuing the death penalty in this case, WTHR reported.

Boards was previously convicted of firing a gun at Indianapolis police in 2006.

According to court records, that incident involved the suspect pointing a .40-caliber handgun at two officers after they pulled him over for failing to use a turn signal, WXIN reported.

Boards fired a total of seven rounds at the officers, striking one of their patrol cars three times.

He sped away, but was ultimately stopped with a precision intervention technique (PIT) maneuver, WXIN reported.

Investigators later recovered the handgun and an AK-47-style rifle from his vehicle, as well as eight ecstasy pills.

Boards was originally charged with possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, attempted murder, three counts of resisting law enforcement, carrying a handgun without a license, and drug possession, but a jury refused to convict him on the murder charge, WXIN reported.

He was convicted of two counts of resisting law enforcement, criminal recklessness, carrying a handgun without a license, and drug possession.

The court also convicted him of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, a class C felony enhancement to the carrying a handgun without a license conviction, and the habitual offender allegation, WXIN reported.

Boards was sentenced to a total of 25 years after being convicted in September of 2007.

He appealed his convictions three times, but failed on every attempt, WXIN reported.

His arrest record also included charges of resisting law enforcement, battery with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, and drug offenses, WTHR reported.

Officer Shahnavaz served in the U.S. Army for five years prior to joining the EPD 11 months ago.

He graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in April, WTHR reported.

Officer Shahnavaz leaves behind his parents and his siblings, Sgt. Keegan told the Indianapolis Star.

“Noah proudly wore the Elwood Police Department uniform, serving the citizens of Elwood, he was part of our city family,” Elwood Mayor Todd Jones told the paper. “On behalf of myself, my family and a most grateful city, I’m asking you to keep Noah’s family, Noah’s friends, the Elwood Police Department and our city in your thoughts and prayers as we attempt to navigate through this tragic time.”

Jones said the deadly attack on the young officer was senseless and tragic.

“A senseless act of violence robbed this young man of the life and career he had ahead of him,” the mayor said in a Facebook post on Sunday. “Noah was not only part of the Elwood Police Department, he was part of our city family and we are grieving this tremendous loss, and we know we are not alone.”

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb also released a statement in the wake of the young officer’s murder.

“A family, community and state are devastated by the loss of Elwood Police Officer Noah Shahnavaz, a young public servant at the start of his law enforcement career,” Holcomb tweeted on Sunday.

“Not only did he choose to serve his fellow Americans for five years in the United States Army, he returned to Indiana to rededicate himself to serving and protecting others as a police officer for the Elwood Police Department,” Holcomb added.

“Our hearts go out to Officer Shahnavaz’s loved ones and his fellow officers,” the governor said. “Janet and I send our condolences to all who are suffering from this senseless tragedy.”

A long line of law enforcement vehicles escorted Officer Shahnavaz’s body back to Madison County on Sunday night, WRTV reported.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Elwood Police Department Officer Noah Shahnavaz, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Officer Noah Shahnavaz, your life mattered.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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