INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has now made an arrest in a shooting from over the weekend that left a Dutch soldier dead and two others injured.
Simmie Poetsema, 26, was shot to death, and two other soldiers were wounded as at least five gunshots were fired at the group as it returned to the Hampton Inn in the 100 block of South Meridian Street at 3:30 a.m. Saturday.
IMPD confirmed Tuesday afternoon that an arrest had been made in the shooting. They identified the suspect as 22-year-old Shamar Duncan, who was arrested for murder.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will review the case and make the final charging decision including possible additional charges associated with this case.
All three soldiers were part of a Dutch military contingent housed at the Hampton Inn but training at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County.
“We do many trainings of our servicemen in the United States, and we really don’t expect this to happen. So it’s very, very concerning for us.” Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren told The Associated Press at a meeting of European Union defense ministers in Prague.
Ollongren declined to comment to The Associated Press on the shooting while investigations continue. She said there is “good contact” between Dutch military police and authorities in Indianapolis.
Investigators continue to analyze surveillance camera video as well as information from license plate readers as they piece together their probe into the killing.
Sources indicate that a group of soldiers was returning to the hotel when a confrontation broke out on the sidewalk, which resulted in a local man landing on the ground.
Minutes later, detectives believe a Ford F-150 pickup truck pulled up on Meridian Street outside the hotel and someone in the truck opened fire, sending the wounded soldiers fleeing into the lobby of the Hampton Inn.
Detectives detained, questioned and released two people who they believe accompanied the shooter.
Dutch law enforcement authorities, as well as the White House and the U.S. State Department, have been briefed on the investigation.
”Conflict resolution has too often become people just pulling out guns and shooting each other,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. ”The tragedy is that people got into a dispute, and they ultimately resolved that dispute by pulling out a gun and shooting at one another.”
Now that news of the fatal shooting has spread literally around the world, the mayor was asked if the tragedy will diminish downtown Indianapolis’ reputation as a safe place for guests to visit.
”I don’t think we have lawless streets in Indianapolis,” said Hogsett. “I can understand why some might have that perception, people who are not familiar with Indianapolis. The truth is we have more police officers per capita downtown than any other neighborhood in the city.
”I often times over the course of the last several years have indicated that Indianapolis is a much safer place than other communities throughout the country, and neighbors and residents of this community look at me and say, ‘Yeah, but we don’t live in those other places. We live in Indianapolis. We want you to keep Indianapolis safe.’ And that is what our focus is on.”