INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis police detectives and other law enforcement partners continue their search for the gunman suspected of killing a Dutch commando and wounding two other soldiers on a downtown sidewalk early Saturday morning.
Simmie Poetsema, age 26, was shot to death in the 100 block of South Meridian Street just before 4 a.m.
Also wounded were two other soldiers, part of a Dutch military contingent housed at the Hampton Inn but training at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County.
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.
The search for the gunman continues.
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.”