August 29, 2022

Indianapolis police quiet on fatal shooting of Dutch soldier

The Hampton Inn photographed, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, in Indianapolis. Three members of the Dutch Commando Corps, who were training at a center, were shot outside of the hotel in downtown Indianapolis early Saturday morning. The Dutch Defense Ministry says that one has died.  - AP Photo/Darron Cummings

The Hampton Inn photographed, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, in Indianapolis. Three members of the Dutch Commando Corps, who were training at a center, were shot outside of the hotel in downtown Indianapolis early Saturday morning. The Dutch Defense Ministry says that one has died.

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Two Dutch soldiers wounded in a downtown Indianapolis shooting that killed another member of their commando unit could soon return to the Netherlands, city police said Monday while providing no new information on the search for the other people involved.

The 26-year-old member of the Dutch Commando Corps died of his injuries “surrounded by family and colleagues” after the shooting early Saturday, the country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The Marion County coroner’s office in Indianapolis identified the victim as Simmie Poetsema but didn’t immediately release any additional information.

Poetsema and the two other soldiers were shot after what Indianapolis police believe was a disturbance outside the hotel where they were staying about 3:30 a.m. Saturday near several downtown bars and nightclubs, authorities said. The soldiers were in the U.S. for training exercises at a southern Indiana military base.

Indianapolis police on Monday described the injuries to the two surviving soldiers as “non-life-threatening” and the Dutch Defense Ministry said they were conscious. City police said they were working with U.S. and Dutch agencies to coordinate family members coming to Indianapolis and returning the victims to the Netherlands.

Police, however, released no additional information Monday about the circumstances of the shooting nor made any police officials available for interviews. No arrests have been announced.

The agency said in a statement that detectives were working to identify those involved in the shooting and that “the release of certain investigative information could negatively impact the ability to obtain justice in this case.”

The Indiana National Guard said the soldiers had been training at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, a 1,000-acre complex about 70 miles southeast of the downtown Indianapolis shooting scene. The Guard said in a statement that the center is used for training by the Department of Defense “as well as other allies.”

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