A young rookie officer in Indiana was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in the early hours of Sunday, July 31, when the driver suddenly exited his vehicle and opened fire.
24-year-old Officer Noah Shahnavaz, a U.S. Army veteran, had been with the Elwood Police Department for just 11 months at the time of his murder.
State police said in court filings that Shahnavaz had stopped a Buick LaCrosse just after 2 a.m., roughly 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis, when the driver fired multiple rounds.
One round struck the officer in the head, while the others damaged the officer’s vehicle.
“For an unknown reason, the suspect exited the Buick and fired multiple rounds, striking the officer at least one time,” state police said.
Shahnavaz was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police eventually caught the suspect, later identified as Carl Roy Webb Boards II, after a 30-minute chase where they deployed spike strips. During the chase, police used their patrol cars to force the driver to crash into a median.
It was later found that Boards, who owns a barbershop in Marion, has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1999, with convictions related to guns and drugs.
Richard Clay of the Indiana State Police said that a neighbor of Boards told police he had even written a song that included statements about killing police officers if they ever tried to arrest him.
According to Madison County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Hanna, the 42-year-old Boards was convicted in 2006 of shooting at Indianapolis police officers.
Boards has been charged with murder and other felonies and is being held without bail.
“A senseless act of violence robbed this young man of the life and career he had ahead of him,” Mayor Todd Jones said in a statement. “As a father, I simply cannot fathom what Noah’s parents must be going through right now. 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.”
Sheriff Scott Mellinger said he went “from being prayerful to being angry” after hearing the news.
“Prayers. Senseless act. Please join us in holding up Elwood PD’s officers and their families,” the sheriff wrote on Facebook.
Shahnavaz served in the Army for five years with the 591st Military Police Company and graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in April. He is survived by his parents and siblings.