INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The mayor of Indianapolis is defending the city from international criticism following the shooting of three Dutch commandos.
I-Team 8 has been told the three Dutch Commando Corps soldiers got into a fight on South Meridian Street. The soldiers deescalated the fight and returned to a hotel in the 100 block of South Meridian Street, but they didn’t go inside right away.
“I’m told that the alleged perpetrators did a drive-by shooting” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
The shooting sent three Dutch soldiers to the hospital. Police were called just before 4 a.m. on Saturday.
The Dutch Ministry of Defence confirmed the death of Simmie Poetsema, 26, just after 3 a.m. Monday, with his family and colleagues by his side. Poetsema’s family has requested that Dutch officials not release his photo.
The other two soldiers are able to talk and respond to questions. They are expected to survive.
The mayor said this type of violence happens all too often.
“Conflict resolution has become people pulling out guns and shooting each other. As I understand it, there was a scuffle or a kerfuffle at a bar. The Dutch guardsmen returned back to their hotel. What they were doing outside, I’m not altogether sure,” said Hogsett.
The Dutch soldiers were in Indiana for training southeast of Indianapolis at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, according to the Associated Press. The shooting has put Indianapolis in an unfavorable international spotlight, one that the mayor takes exception to.
“The truth is we have more police officers per capita downtown Indianapolis than any other neighborhood in the city. There is a lot more going on downtown than neighborhoods in the city, but we are struggling mightily to make our streets and neighborhoods as safe as we can make them,” said Hogsett.
No arrests have been made in the case and no information regarding potential suspects have been made available. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department put out a statement late Monday afternoon which says detectives continue to follow leads.
“There is no information regarding any potential suspects or details of the investigation that can be released at this time,” IMPD said in an email. “The release of certain investigative information could negatively impact the ability to obtain justice in this case.”
IMPD also said it has been speaking with “various agencies within the United States and the Netherlands to coordinate family members coming to Indianapolis and returning the victims to the Netherlands.”