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Military leader, friend remembers fallen Elwood Officer Noah Shahnavaz

"He's a very kind-hearted person. Talking to him I learned that all he wanted to do was be a police officer," said Marcos Montalvo.

ELWOOD, Ind. — Condolences continue to pour in over the death of Elwood Officer Noah Shahnavaz, including from his military squad leader Marcos Montalvo.   

Montalvo told 13News, that he and Shahnavaz were both stationed at Fort Bliss Texas in December 2016.     

"They come to us as 18-year-old kids and we try and show them the way the best we can and how to grow up in a pretty fast-paced military," said Montalvo.

Montalvo said Shahnavaz was a little shy, which is expected because he was new to the 591st Military Police Company.   

"I finally got into Noah's shell when we got deployed. We went to United Arab Emirates in 2017. I spent several nights with him, and we talked just to get the time going when we're on patrol or guarding the gates," said Montalvo.

Credit: Marcos Montalvo
Fallen Officer Noah Shahnavaz, 24, of Fishers, served in the Army for five years prior to joining the Elwood Police Department.

Montalvo said he learned a lot about Shahnavaz.

"He's a very kind-hearted person. Talking to him I learned that all he wanted to do was be a police officer," said Montalvo.

They got deployed again, this time to the California border to help U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents.

Shahnavaz wasn't in Montalvo's unit, but they remained close.

"He still wanted to be a cop. I asked him, 'You don't want to stay in the military and continue on and be, what we called, lifers?' He said, 'No, no, I still want to be a cop,'" said Montalvo.

Credit: Elwood Police Department
Officer Noah Shahnavaz, 24, of Fishers, graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in April. He served the community for 11 months.

Montalvo said Shahnavaz just wanted to help people.

"My job was, as his leader, to learn about him and learn what he wants and help him develop what he needs to develop to become what he wants to become," said Montalvo.

"I was grateful to get him to that point where I believed he made that step and finally just doing what he wanted to do - becoming a law enforcement officer. I'm proud of him. I'm very sorry for what happened. You know, it sucks."

Credit: Elwood Police Department
Officer Noah Shahnavaz, Elwood Police Department

Montalvo recalled some good times he spent with Shahnavaz, including the time they were deployed and couldn't find a nearby barber shop. Montalvo offered to be everyone's barber.

"One of the first people in was Shahnavaz, Noah. I used to always make fun of him because his hair was very coarse. I used to say he had pit bull hair and I'd always mess up his hair. We'd always laugh about it but he's always come back just to let me practice and help him out. Like I said, it's the whole giving aspect and helping other people," said Montalvo.

Montalvo said he misses his friend very much and sends prayers to his family.

He also shared those who were together during their deployment want to make a plaque to honor Shahnavaz and present it to his family.

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