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Formal charges filed against suspect in fatal shooting of Dutch soldier

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Formal charges have been filed against a man accused of fatally shooting a Dutch soldier and wounding two others.

Shamar Duncan, 22, faces a charge of murder, two counts of attempted murder and a count of disorderly conduct. He will not face any gun charges because, according to the Marion County prosecutor, Duncan was legally allowed to carry a gun in Indiana.

The Dutch Ministry of Defence released this photo of Simmie Poetsema. (Provided Photo/Dutch Ministry of Defence)

READ: How an Indianapolis street fight turned into an international incident

Representatives of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department during Thursday’s press conference would not go into detail on how they found Duncan. However, court documents say surveillance cameras were used to track the Duncan, his friends, and the license plate of a truck that drove north at a high rate of speed toward Monument Circle and later east on New York Street and north on Delaware Street. Bullets found in the truck matched bullets fired at the Dutch soldiers.

Duncan, an Indianapolis resident, is accused of shooting three Royal Netherlands Army soldiers who had been in Indiana for training. One of the soldiers, 26-year-old Simmie Poetsema, died in the days following the shooting. One of the other two soldiers have returned to the Netherlands while the other one continues to recover in Indianapolis.

Poetsema and his fellow soldiers were visiting downtown Indianapolis while on a night off from training at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, located southeast of Indianapolis and near North Vernon.

Witnesses claim the Dutch soldiers had some sort of altercation on the streets of downtown in the early morning of Aug. 27. At least two uninvolved witnesses described Duncan’s group as the aggressors in the situation. Eyewitnesses said three or four people were in Duncan’s group and between nine and 14 in the group of Dutch soldiers.

Following a fight between the groups, witnesses said Duncan went to a gray Ford pickup truck, retrieved a gun and started firing either four or five shots.

Officers arrived to find three gunshot victims, broken glass outside a hotel and a trail of blood.

In a Thursday morning press conference, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said more charges could be filed in the future related to this case. The prosecutor said he hasn’t finished talking to everyone involved.

“We are evaluating everybody’s conduct and what did people know and when did they know it and what was their conduct after the fact,” Mears said. 

Duncan has an initial court appearance on Thursday afternoon.

Duncan does not have a violent criminal history. He was charged for theft in 2019 and received probation following a plea deal.

The shooting has drawn a lot of unfavorable attention on Indianapolis. The Netherlands Minister of Defence earlier this week expressed her concern over the gun violence in Indianapolis.

Chris Bailey, IMPD assistant chief, said in Thursday morning’s press conference that the root of the violence along the South Meridian Street is isolated to a handful of bars that overserve customers and turn a blind eye to drug dealing. “We spend an enormous amount of money to ultimately babysit adults in a just a two-block area of downtown Indianapolis,” Bailey said.


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