ELWOOD, Ind. — People came to pay their respects throughout Sunday to fallen Elwood Officer Noah Shahnavaz. With just under 8,500 people in the small town, his death is certainly leaving a mark.

“It’s really emotional,” Austin Henson said.

Community members like Henson did not what else to do Sunday besides go to the police department when they heard the news of Officer Shahnavaz’s death.

“It’s sad that it had to happen to such a young man and a great police officer,” Henson said.

Shahnavaz was killed in the line of duty early Sunday morning while doing a traffic stop. Police said for an unknown reason, the suspect fired at him, killing him, before driving away.

“I’m grieving for the family,” Tristin Capshaw said. “This is my fourth time coming up here today.”

Elwood neighbors stood just outside the door as Indiana State Police delivered the news of Officer Shahnavaz’s death. Many searched for a way to say “thank you” to the young officer.

“Elwood is a very stick-together town,” Tapeka Idlewine said. “When something happens there’s a whole gang behind them.”

Officer Shahnavaz served this community for 11 months. It’s clear that’s more than enough time for an officer to become a small town hero.

“They’re the most important part of the puzzle that makes up this community,” Brant Evans said. “They keep us safe. They patrol our neighborhoods, keep our businesses safe, our homes safe. And, anything that we can do to support them, our hearts are out to them.”

Officer Shahnavaz not only served this community but every American while in the US Army. His service spanned five years. As his family mourns privately, Elwood shares a message with them.

“Our hearts, this community of Elwood go out to you,” Evans said. “God bless you, and our hearts just go out to you.”

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