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Franklin festival gives trooper a moment of silence

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — Franklin residents came together Monday to honor Indiana State Police Trooper Aaron Smith with a moving moment of silence just five days after he was killed in the line of duty.

Smith was killed during a high-speed chase Wednesday while attempting to deploy a tire-deflating device at the I-70 interchange for Ronald Reagan Parkway in Plainfield. Two Missouri men are now facing criminal charges.

Smith lived in Franklin. His hometown ended the Fourth of July concert at Youngs Creek Park by taking a moment to thank him for his service. “You never can do enough,” said Ron Fowler from Indianapolis.

Franklin is a tight-knit community; many of the people there knew Smith or knew someone who did.

Franklin resident Lea Shelton said her daughter worked with Smith’s wife, Megan, and they are providing support for her in every way they can.

Shelton said about the moment of silence, “When we can honor them in any way that we can I think that we should, and the tribute tonight was very very nice for him and for his family and just for the city of Franklin to let people know that we care.”

Fowler said he went to the same church as Smith. “Any time you lose any officer, no matter any branch, you are sad that they have sacrificed their life for the citizens of our state and of our city.”

Tim White honored Smith in song. White is a retired army veteran and Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy.

“I started to get a little emotional about it. I had to put it all into the song and make it honorable for Aaron,” White said. “Aaron needed that honor. He gave his life. He made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Fowler said this tribute was especially difficult despite participating in memorials before this.

“It’s overwhelming sometimes because you sit back and think this could have happened to me at any time, it could have happened to me at any time,” Fowler said. “And so if I get to honor that person I will always have that memory for the rest of my life.”

Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter spoke at the Franklin Firecracker Festival in honor of Smith. “Because there’s not much that we wouldn’t do for you to include dying for you,” he said.

The state police leader said, “The Smith family, on the night Aaron died, made it about everybody else, not about themselves, and it’s a moment and there were conversations I will never ever forget.”

Smith was a trooper for nearly five years. He will receive police and military honors because he served in the National Guard as well.

The funeral arrangements are as follows:

  • Visitation: 2-8 p.m. Thursday, Emmanuel Church Greenwood Campus, 1640 W. Stones Crossing Road, Greenwood.
  • Funeral: 11 a.m. Friday, Emmanuel Church Greenwood Campus.
  • Burial: Crown Hill Cemetery, 700 W. 38th St, Indianapolis, following a police procession.

The processional route will be announced at a later date and community members are encouraged to attend and line the route in support.

News release

“An account to benefit the family of Trooper Aaron N. Smith has been established at Indiana Members Credit Union (IMCU) under ‘Aaron Smith Memorial Fund. Anyone can make a donation by stopping in the nearest IMCU branch or calling 800-556-9268. There is a branch in Franklin, Trooper Smith’s hometown. To locate a branch near you click the link below:


“Donations can also be made through the Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization here:


“If you, your company or organization would like to help with the funeral and other final expenses, please contribute directly to the Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation at: Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation, Inc. | 1710 South 10th Street | Noblesville, IN 46060 | (317) 431-0755

Indiana State Police news release issued at 9:49 p.m. July 3, 2023