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Dutch soldier dies after alleged drive-by shooting in downtown Indy, two others injured

The two other soldiers conditions remain unchanged
Dutch Soldiers Shooting.JPG
Posted at 9:19 AM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 18:32:47-04

INDIANAPOLIS — One of three Dutch soldiers who were shot early Saturday morning in downtown Indianapolis has died, according to the Netherlands Ministry of Defense.

In an online statement, the Netherlands Ministry of Defense said the men are from the Commando Corps and were in Indiana on exercise.

The men were training at Muscatatuk Urban Training Center, a premier training facility.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to the shooting in the area of S. Meridian Street and W. Maryland Street just before 4 a.m.

All three men were rushed to the hospital, two of them were in critical condition. One of those men died late Sunday evening. According to the Ministry, the man's family was with him when he passed.

The Marion County Coroner has identified the man as Simmie Poetsema, 26.

The Ministry says the shooting took place in front of the hotel where the soldiers were staying and that the incident happened during the military's free time.

A full statement from the Ministry:

This morning we received the tragic news that our colleague passed away from his injuries. Last Saturday he and two other colleagues we shot at and injured on their way to their hotel. We are very much aggrieved by the loss of this highly professional serviceman and send our deepest condolences to his family and close colleagues. At this time his close family and colleagues are with him.

Together with his unit he was training at a nearby urban warfare training facility. The Dutch armed forces use this facility as it provides additional training opportunities not available in The Netherlands. The training has been stopped as the focus of the unit is now on their colleagues and the planning and preparations for return to The Netherlands. At this time there is no information on when that will be.
Ministry of Defence

According to IMPD, the men were shot during some sort of "disturbance" in front of the hotel.

A spokesperson for the State Department has stated that they are in contact with the Dutch government on the matter. The full statement can be read below.

Police have not released any additional details about possible suspects at this time.

"I think IMPD is continuing to investigate the perpetrators of the violence," Mayor Joe Hogsett said Monday morning. "I can't specifically comment on that about where that investigation is. I think they have a good idea."

"I think that what that underscores is too often, not just in Indianapolis, conflict resolution has become just people pulling out guns and shooting each other. As I understand it there was a scuffle — a kerfuffle — at a bar and the Dutch guardsmen had returned back to their hotel. What they were doing outside I'm not altogether sure — but I'm told the alleged perpetrators did a drive-by shooting and ultimately three were victimized by that shooting," Hogsett said.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact Detective Michael Wright at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317.327.3475 or e-mail him at

This is the second triple shooting in downtown Indianapolis in the last week. On Sunday, August 21, one man died and two others were injured after a shooting in the 900 block of N. Delaware Street.

"The tragedy is that it happened. The tragedy is that people got into a dispute and they ultimately resolved that dispute by pulling out a gun and shooting at other people. And that's precisely what we're trying to focus on in our crime reduction efforts," Hogsett said. "The truth is, we have more police officers per-capita downtown than any other neighborhood in the city. Now there's a lot more going on downtown than most other neighborhoods, but we are struggling mightily to make our streets and neighborhoods as safe as we can make them. And again, you're probably getting tired of me saying it but we have a 17% reduction year-over-year from last year is not insignificant."

Prosecutor Ryan Mears also released the following statement Monday morning on the recent shootings in downtown Indianapolis.

“Many simple disputes ended with violence over the weekend. We continue to see lasting damage caused by the inability to resolve disputes before resorting to gun violence. We cannot not tolerate this behavior and the use of firearms or weapons as a resolution to conflict.

We forewarned the consequences that would come from having more guns on our streets as a result of the permitless carry legislation, and we are witnessing the ramifications of that action on a far-too-frequent basis.

As a community, we must do our part to combat gun violence and address the issues that lead to it.”

Candidate for Marion County Prosecutor, Cyndi Carrasco, released the following statement in response to the recent shootings Monday afternoon.

"Indianapolis made national and international news again this weekend, and once again for the wrong reason.

Three Dutch soldiers with the Royal Netherlands Army, enjoying an off day from training right in the heart of downtown were shot, and one has tragically been killed.

Unfortunately acts of violence like this are daily occurrences in Marion County, and are now happening in almost every corner of the county. The increase in violence in our city is a direct result of our prosecutor's failure to hold criminals accountable, and his continued use of sweetheart plea deals that puts violent repeat offenders back on our streets. These actions broadcast to criminals that they can get away with committing crimes in Marion County.

People are fed up, and enough is enough. We cannot allow this violence to be the norm. We must work together to hold criminals accountable and make Indianapolis safe."