3 Netherlands army soldiers shot outside downtown Indianapolis hotel
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Three soldiers of the Royal Netherlands Army were injured in a shooting early Saturday outside a downtown Indianapolis hotel, police and Netherlands authorities say.
One of the Commando Corps soldiers was in critical condition and the other two were conscious and approachable, according to a tweet at 11:12 a.m. Saturday from the Netherlands Ministry of Defence. The tweet says families have been notified.
An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department news release issued at 10:38 a.m. Saturday says that two of the men shot were in critical condition and the third man was stable. IMPD had initially said all three men were hospitalized in critical condition.
The Commando Corps are the special forces of the Royal Netherlands Army. The Corps’ task is to prepare and conduct special operations for Allied defense and crisis management tasks. Maj. Mark van de Beek, a Royal Netherlands Army spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, told News 8 that the Commando Corps were in Indiana to conduct training at a facility for urban warfare training.
The Amsterdam-based NL Times news outlet says a group of soldiers from the army’s Commando Corps were in Indianapolis for the urban combat training exercise. They were staying in the Hampton Inn, 105 S. Meridian St., which is two blocks south of Monument Circle.
The Indiana National Guard said the soldiers had been training at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, a 1,000-acre complex about 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis. The Guard said in a statement that the center is used for training by the Department of Defense “as well as other allies.”
The shooting happened while the commandos were on the military’s free time, the Ministry of Defence says in a statement.
No arrests have been made. IMPD detectives think the shooting was not a random act, and that the three soldiers were in a fight somewhere else before they were shot. IMPD says it has no witnesses and no suspects, but has leads about who may have shot the three men.
IMPD says it was called just before 4 a.m. Saturday to the 100 block of South Meridian Street. The men were found outside the Hampton Inn hotel on Maryland Street near Meridian Street.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett told News 8 at a Saturday midafternoon blues music and barbecue festival that he did not know why the Netherlands army soldiers were in Indianapolis, and said IMPD will issue a statement later Saturday.
Michele Holtkamp, communications director for to the office of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, told News 8 in a 4:11 p.m. Saturday email that governor has nothing to share at this time.
News 8 also reached out to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In response, News 8 received a statement.
“We are aware of these reports and offer our condolences to the Dutch soldiers who were injured and their families.
“We are in contact with the Dutch government on this matter.
“As there is an ongoing investigation, we do not have any further comment and would refer you to local law enforcement.”
U.S. State Department spokesperson
Anyone with information about this incident was asked to contact detective Michael Wright at the IMPD homicide office at 317-327-3475 or email him at email@example.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.