FISHERS, Ind (WISH) — Visitation services for Noah Shahnavaz, the Elwood Police Department officer who a prosecutor says was murdered earlier this week, happened Friday at nondenominational church in Fishers.
The service was at ITOWN Church, where hundreds of police officers came to pay their respects.
“Officer Noah Jacob Shahnavaz courageously stood his post representing what is best in society, going into places that the average person fears to thread, seeing things no one wants to see by simply putting on his uniform and going to work everyday. Noah made this country a better place to live” said Elwood Police Chief Jason Brizendine during the visitation service.
At the service, a picture of Shahnavaz was placed on a table a few feet behind his family and friends. In the front of the room was his casket, covered with an American flag; two armed police officers will stay in place until the funeral Saturday.
In the hours leading up to the visitation, the honor guard along with a group of volunteers placed American flags throughout the church property. As each flag pole was driven into the soil, Bob Patterson was reminded of why he was there.
“Because of what these people have done for me to be able do this, they deserve the honor we give them and always do,” Patterson said.
The Elwood Police Department placed a cruiser near the front door of the church as a silent but visible reminder of what happened to Shahnavaz on Sunday.
His career as a police officer was just getting started. He had been with the Elwood Police Department less than a year when he was murdered. His department and family have kept a tight circle around themselves during these difficult days.
The state Fraternal Order of Police has been in contact with his family and fellow officers. “They seem to be OK; that is from my perspective. Just like cops, families themselves will have varying emotions and stages they are contending with. If I was to guess, they are still in shock,” said Scott Ruskowski with the FOP’s critical incident team.
Back inside the church, the Shahnavaz family and members of the Elwood Police Department had a few minutes alone before hundreds of police officers, extended family. and friends came to pay their respects.