FISHERS, Ind. – A visit was held on Friday for Elwood’s fallen officer Noah Shahnavaz. The 24-year-old Army veteran and a native of Fishers was killed on Sunday while on duty.
For five hours, people from all over the country came to the ITOWN Church in Fishers to pay their respects, including law enforcement officers from New York and Texas, and Shahnavaz’s comrades in arms.
The group of soldiers who served together in the 591st Military Police Company said they kept in touch frequently. It was the first time they had been back together in a while, and it was under circumstances they could never have imagined.
“Anyone will tell you it was worth it. I was from Texas, but I would have come from Mars if it was necessary, ”said Gary Harris, who served with Shahnavaz.
Shahnavaz’s brothers and sisters-in-arms, who are some of his closest friends, have traveled from places like New York, Texas and Hawaii and said he doesn’t represent even a small fraction of the people he struck who are still serving around the world or those who cannot travel to Indiana.
Julio Hernandez said he would give anything to be there for one of his closest friends, who he also considers part of his own family. He has shared his favorite memories of him with FOX59 via video chat from overseas, where he is currently on duty.
“Just hours talking to him, hours being with him and the memories now it’s hard to understand, to think he’s gone,” said Hernandez. “Now I have to follow the steps to realize this is real and the grieving process.”
Shahnavaz’s fellow soldiers said the fallen hero dreamed of being an officer. It was a dream he fulfilled until he took his last breath of him.
“This wasn’t just a job for him, it was fun. He liked going to work, “said Nicholas Tracy, who also served with Shahnavaz.” I never heard him complain about having to work. It was so important to him and just a big part of his life. I mean, probably not. he spoke absolutely every day.
“He has impressed a lot of people and I think it mostly has to do with his ambitions and his age; how young he was. He had just gotten out of the army. I think it’s a painful story, ”Tracy said.
Shahnavaz served in the Elwood Police Department for 11 months, but his law enforcement career began much earlier, as he served as a military police officer.
Tracy shared that the two would often support each other during traffic stops and other calls during their time as military police officers. They are those memories of “Shanny” that he and his brothers will cherish forever.
“In the military, they always say to look to your left or right to see someone doing the right thing if you don’t know what to do,” Harris said. “He was constantly the guy I always try, you know, to guide me in my military career.”
Mark Thompson said Shahnavaz was one of the driving forces behind him struggling to become a sergeant.
“He always said he would do it first, he would be the first. He pushed me hard, ”Thompson said.
The group shared laughter and tears, recalling the memories of the brother, who had the ability to light up any room he entered. They also hope that people know who he was, even beyond the uniform he wore.
“It’s so much more than his job. He was a caring person, he looked after us, he supervised us, he spent a lot of quality time with us, “Tracy said. friend and family member “.
“If we texted him or were in trouble, he would always be there,” Thompson said.
“He was always reliable. He was always there when you needed him. He was so loving, “said Hernandez.” I love being with my family and including him in my family has always been fun. “
Hernandez said that Shahnavaz was incredible for his son, who was very young the first time he met him. When he arrived, Hernandez and his wife shared that Shahnavaz would watch Disney movies with his son, go to the park, or help with whatever was needed.
“My son loved it. He couldn’t say that Shahnavaz and Shanny were stupid with him. I asked him his name and he said “it’s Noah”. The only person I remember who would call him Noah, at least in my home, was my son, “recalled Hernandez.
His friends remembered Shahnavaz as an avid gamer, who had the ability to bring together communities of strangers, a kind, caring and loving person, with a heart of gold. They also said that the best thing about him was undoubtedly the contagious laugh, or his laugh, as others have described it.
“I won’t be able to hear it in person anymore and it sucks,” said Hernandez, who plans to visit his fallen brother in Indiana when he gets home.
“The way he jumped up and down whenever he was excited about something, definitely his laugh and smile,” Thompson said describing his favorite “Shanny” traits.
There doesn’t seem to be anyone who disagrees.
“You recognize him from a mile away. I mean, it was easily one of the funniest laughs because it’s one of those laughs that makes you want to laugh even if you don’t understand what it’s being laughed at, “said Harris.” You immediately understand that it must be hilarious. It’s immediately contagious. ” .
His brothers in arms thanked everyone who came to show support for Shahnavaz and his family, and said they hope to see a crowded procession tomorrow to pay homage to the man who gave his life for his community.
“To his family, I offer them my utmost condolences,” said Hernandez. “As much as we believe it was our family in some way; they were that real family and I know they are suffering more than anything else.
Information on the funeral service and the procession
The funeral of Elwood’s fallen officer Noah Shahnavaz will be held on Saturday at ITOWN Church in Fishers. The funeral will start at 11am, but you will see police officers start arriving at 8.30am. Agents from across the state and country are expected to attend the funeral.
Indiana State Police have announced the route of the procession that will take Shahnavaz from ITOWN Church to Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.
You can learn more about the route and important information by visiting this link.
Suggest a fix