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Indiana man charged with killing Dutch soldier, wounding two others

Judge's gavel. (Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau/U.S. Air Force)

An Indiana man was charged on Thursday for fatally shooting a Dutch soldier and wounding two others outside a hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

Shamar Duncan is facing one count of murder and another two counts of attempted murder and disorderly conduct, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced. He was arrested on Tuesday, days after the deadly violence unfolded outside a Hampton Inn in the downtown area.

Police said all three soldiers involved in the incident had been training at a military camp in Southern Indiana at the time. They were walking back to their hotel after a night off when they crossed paths with 22-year-old Duncan and a group of his friends early Saturday, according to an arrest affidavit. Witnesses told authorities that the soldiers attempted to defuse the tension, but the confrontation quickly escalated into a brief scuffle around 3:30 a.m.

Minutes later, shots were fired from a nearby pickup truck, fatally striking one of the soldiers. He was identified as as Simmie Poetsema, a 26-year-old member of the Dutch Commando Corps. Earlier this week, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett described the incident as a “drive-by shooting,” but authorities have not confirmed his account.

In the aftermath, Duncan told one of his friends that he opened fire on the soldiers because he “just spazzed,” according to the affidavit.

Two more soldiers were wounded in the violence, including one who has since gone back to the Netherlands, Deputy Police Chief Kendale Adams said. The second wounded victim is set to return home on Thursday and both are expected to make a full recovery.

Adams denounced the violence earlier this week, calling it tragic and cowardly.

“The life taken due to senseless gun violence of a hero is disgraceful and cowardly,” Adams said.

No one else has been charged in connection with the shooting, but authorities said those with Duncan at the time could also face legal action.


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