Elwood Police Department Officer Noah Shahnavaz was shot to death during a traffic stop in Madison County early Sunday.
Shahnavaz 24, stopped the Buick LaCrosse on Ind. 37 on the southeastern edge of Elwood at about 2 a.m. when a man stepped out of the vehicle and fired at least 36 shots.
Shahnavaz never had a chance to pull his gun, court records said.
Officers arrested Carl Roy Webb Boards II, 42, Anderson, after a short car chase about 30 minutes later. Boards, records show, served a 25-year prison sentence for shooting at an Indianapolis police officer in 2006.
Here's everything we know about the Boards, his past crimes, his history of mental illness, and the shooting that killed Shahnavaz.
Deadly traffic stop
Elwood Police Department Officer Noah Shahnavaz stopped a 2012 Buick LaCrosse on Ind. 37 and County Road 1100 North at about 2 a.m. Sunday when the suspect began shooting, according to a State Police news release.
"For an unknown reason, the suspect exited the Buick and fired multiple rounds striking the officer at least one time," State Police said. "Before additional officers arrived, the suspect fled from the scene in the Buick."
Boards fired at least 36 rounds and the officer never had a chance to unholster his own gun, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Monday.
An ambulance took Shahnavaz to Ascension St. Vincent Mercy in Elwood. He was later flown by helicopter to Ascension St. Vincent Hospital - Indianapolis, where he died.
The young officer
Shahnavaz, 24, was with the department for 11 months and was a five-year Army veteran, Elwood police said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.
He graduated from Fishers High School in 2016, according to the district. Shahnavaz is survived by his parents and siblings.
"Noah proudly wore the Elwood Police Department uniform," Elwood Mayor Todd Jones said. "A senseless act of violence robbed this young man of the life and career that he had ahead of him.:"
ISP Superintendent Doug Carter said he visited with Officer Shahnavaz's family earlier Sunday.
"When’s it going to stop? I wish I had the answer," Carter said. "This young man served this country for five years and chose to come back and serve [the] local community."
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputies spotted the Buick Lacrosse heading south on Ind. 37 shortly after 2:30 a.m., according to the ISP news release.
Deputies tried to stop the Buick, police said, but the driver fled. Deputies deployed a tire deflation device near Ind. 37 and 146th Street, but the Buick kept driving south.
The Buick was on I-69 when Fishers Police Department officers used Precision Immobilization Techniques (PIT) two times, police said. Police use the so-called PIT maneuver to force a fleeing vehicle to spin and stop during a chase.
"After the second Precision Immobilization Technique, the vehicle stuck a the median barrier wall and became immobilized. Responding officers were able to take the suspect into custody without further incident," ISP said.
Officers arrested Boards. On Monday, prosecutors charged Boards with murder, resisting law enforcement and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
Guns, a barber shop and song lyrics
Police said Boards was carrying a 9mm handgun when he was arrested. They found a black rifle with a high-capacity magazine on the driver's seat of his Buick.
A search warrant on Boards' phone revealed he had called his family members and girlfriend through FaceTime while trying to escape police.
Boards, according to the affidavit, owns a barber shop in Marion called Webb's Cut Care, 525 S. Washington St. Officers searched the business and found a high-capacity magazine in the back of the building, records say.
A witness later told police Boards is known to carry a handgun and had recorded songs in which he said, "if he was ever caught by police that he would kill them," the affidavit alleges.
Boards shot at officers in 2006
Boards has a lengthy criminal record that includes serving a 25-year prison sentence for shooting at Indianapolis police officers in 2006.
Boards, 26 at the time, was charged with attempted murder and other crimes after he led Indianapolis police on a chase and fired a handgun at officers on Nov. 30, 2006.
In that incident, officers stopped Boards in a Chevrolet Suburban and were approaching when Boards pointed a .40-caliber handgun out of the driver's window, court records say.
"He fired seven bullets at the officers, who quickly took cover behind Officer (Michael) Kavanaugh’s patrol car," the Indiana Court of Appeals wrote in a May 2008 ruling. "Three bullets hit the squad car, and Boards reloaded the gun before speeding away in the Suburban."
Guns, ammunition and ecstasy pills
Officers used a PIT maneuver to stop Boards' SUV on the Kessler bridge over I-65 near 38th Street. Officers arrested Boards.
In the Suburban, they found a Taurus .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun; an AK-47-style rifle with a loaded drum magazine; a box of .40-caliber ammunition and two magazines for the rifle that were taped together.
Officers found eight ecstasy pills in his front pants pocket. Boards had taken at least one ecstasy pill that night, court records said.
Not attempted murder
In 2007, a Marion County jury found Boards guilty of criminal recklessness instead of a much more serious charge of attempted murder.
"There are not many people who are able to fire seven shots at a police officer, hit a police car three times and then walk away with a criminal recklessness conviction," Superior Court Judge Mark Stoner said during Boards' September 2007 sentencing hearing, according to a story published at the time in the Indianapolis Star.
The jury also found Boards guilty of resisting law enforcement, possession of a controlled substance, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious felon.
Boards testified during his trial that he wasn't trying to hurt the officer. He wanted police to leave him alone because he was on a mission to search out terrorists in the city.
Records show Stoner sentenced Boards to 25 years in prison — three years for criminal recklessness with another four years added because he was found to be a habitual offender; and 18 years for the gun-possession charge.
In 2008, the Court of Appeals rejected Boards' request to overturn his conviction and 25-year sentence, citing that Boards had failed to take his medicine to treat his mental illness.
The appeals court noted that Boards was first diagnosed with mental illness in 2000 or 2001.
"While Boards’ precise diagnosis has changed since then from paranoid schizophrenia to bipolar disorder," the appeals court wrote, "his tendency to refuse prescribed medication has remained constant."
The judges found that Boards' 25-year sentence was appropriate.
"In light of the dangerous situation created by Boards, we are amazed that no serious injuries or deaths resulted to police or bystanders," read the appeal court decision.
Records show Boards was released from the Indiana Department of Correction in 2019 after serving more than 11 years behind bars.
Prior to 2014, offenders who had good behavior in prison only had to serve 50% of their sentence. Now, good behavior can cut a sentence by 25%.
Novella Nedeff, an associate professor at the IU McKinney School of Law, said the idea behind the 2014 reform was to ease the burden on the Indiana Department of Correction regarding less serious crimes and to increase the penalties for more serious, violent crimes.
The Court of Appeals described Boards' "significant criminal history" in its 10-page ruling.
He was convicted of battery in 1999 in Grant County. In 2001, he was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and possession of cocaine in howard County.
The appeals court noted that he had also violated conditions of parole and bond.
"His history suggests a pattern of disregard for the laws and an increasingly dangerous inability to conform to the conditions imposed by our criminal justice system," the court of appeals decision read.
Life without parole
The Hamilton County prosecutor's office on Monday charged Boards with murder, resisting law enforcement and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
They will be seeking a sentence of life in prison without parole, the office announced. Boards was being held without bond in the Hamilton County Jail.
The office has not ruled out seeking the death penalty, officials said Monday.
WRTV Reporters Kara Kenney, Rafael Sanchez and producer Lucas Gonzalez contributed to this story.
Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @vicryc.
RELATED | Elwood police officer shot, killed; suspect in custody | Suspect in Elwood police officer's death has several prior criminal convictions, records show | Suspect in Elwood cop's shooting fired 36 rounds; officer never unholstered gun, court doc says | Everything we know about fallen Officer Noah Shahnavaz