Man accused of shooting Dutch commando was 'looking for trouble,'

seminole97

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Jun 14, 2005
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Shamar Duncan and his friends were "looking for trouble" the night he is accused of fatally shooting a Dutch soldier and injuring two others in downtown Indianapolis, a witness told police.

The witness watched as Duncan’s group crossed Meridian Street near the IndyStar building and shoved a man in one group, which walked away. Duncan’s group then got into a second altercation that would turn deadly, the witness told police in the probable cause affidavit for Duncan’s arrest.

Duncan, 22, was arrested Tuesday and is facing a preliminary charge of murder in the shooting that occurred in the 100 block of Meridian Street about 3:30 a.m. Saturday.

Simmie Poetsema, 26, died in the shooting after suffering a single gunshot wound to the back his head outside the Hampton Inn hotel. Two other Dutch soldiers were hurt in the shooting but their injuries are not life-threatening, according to the Netherlands Department of Defense.

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The group of Dutch soldiers were walking back to the hotel from a club downtown when they were antagonized by Duncan and two other men with him, they told investigators after the shooting.

Duncan's group was looking for a fight and bumped into them as they walked past, according to witnesses from the Dutch soldiers' group. Poetsema and others in the group of soldiers were trying to diffuse the situation that eventually turned into a fight, which lasted somewhere between 30 seconds and a few minutes, witnesses told police.

The witness watching from across the street told investigators he saw "one of the males who were causing problems" get knocked to the ground, according to the affidavit. One of the men in Duncan's group then stated “I’m going to go get a strap," the witness told investigators.

The two groups separated as Duncan's group went back to their pickup and the group of Dutch soldiers walked to the front of their hotel. The truck started to drive off then made a U-turn in front of the IndyStar building, accelerated to the front of the hotel and turned on its flashers.

The witness heard gunshots then saw the pickup speed north on Meridian Street, he told police.

One of the Dutch soldiers who survived was shot in the thigh and had mass bleeding from the wound. His friend held pressure to the wound until medical personnel arrived on the scene, according to the affidavit.

The soldiers were visiting Indianapolis on a day off from training at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in southeast Indiana.

Investigators found several shell casings in the street as well as blood, bullet fragments and broken glass on the sidewalk in front of the Hampton Inn. A bloody trail led from the entrance of the hotel to an office area inside. Police also found bloody towels and clothing inside.

As of Tuesday evening, a portion of hotel's glass doors were repaired with pieces of wood, tape and plastic.

Investigators used statements from the group of Dutch soldiers and other witnesses, video from a bystander and surveillance video to identify Duncan as the suspect in the deadly shooting, according to the affidavit.

Duncan and his two friends may have antagonized a third group of people while out in downtown Saturday before the shooting, an witness in the affidavit told police.

Investigators found a man who took a video of the fight on Meridian Street between Duncan and Poetsema’s groups the led up to the shooting. A witness watching the video told investigators he saw Duncan’s group try and start a fight with a different group about an hour before the fight with the Dutch soldiers.

Using the video taken by the bystander as well as surveillance video and descriptions of the men from witnesses, investigators identified Duncan and the two men who were with him in the pickup during the shooting.

When investigators located the pickup, a man, who later admitted to being with Duncan the night of the shooting, was removing items from the vehicle. Key identifying features were removed, according to the affidavit.

Lights, a toolbox and reflective strips were removed from the pickup. After he was detained, the man told police he was the owner of the pickup and that he, Duncan and one other man went out in Broad Ripple then ended up downtown before the shooting.

Someone brushed up against someone in his group then pushing and shoving began and a person in his group ended up on the ground before he and his friends ran back to their vehicle, he told police.

The man said he was driving when someone in his group said they left their phone behind so he stopped the pickup, then heard gunshots.

"Shamar was shooting," the man told police according to the affidavit.

Duncan was sitting in the back seat of the pickup, the man stated. Another witness told police they believed the shots were fired from a person sitting in the backseat, according to the affidavit.

"(The driver of the pickup) said that he yelled at Shamar because he was mad that he shot," the affidavit reads. "He said Shamar said, 'I just spazzed.'"

Police also interviewed the third man in Duncan's group the night of the shooting, who stated he did hear gunshots but that they were not fired by anyone in the pickup, according to the affidavit.

Before he was arrested, police located Duncan on Indianapolis' east side wearing a hoodie pulled down around his face and a COVID-19 mask in an apparent effort to hide his identity, investigators said.

In an interview with detectives, Duncan stated he was downtown with his friends and they were intoxicated when they got into an altercation and tried to walk away but were followed.

"Shamar said that’s when everyone saw a gun and started scattering," the affidavit reads. "He said they went back to their truck."

When asked by investigators what happened after he and his friends got back to their vehicle, Duncan declined to give a further statement, according to the affidavit.

Three detectives from the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee traveled to Indianapolis to assist in the investigation, according to officials.

Poetsema and the two soldiers injured in the shooting are members of the Korps Commandotroepen, or Commando Corps, which is a special defense unit of the Royal Netherlands Army, according to the country’s defense department.

The unit was training in urban warfare and traveled to Indiana because Muscatatuck Urban Training Center allows for training on a much larger scale than available in the Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe, said Major Mark van de Beek, a spokesperson for the Royal Netherlands Army.

Poetsema died with his family and colleagues present.

"They were brought in as soon as we learned there were three colleagues wounded,” van de Beek said. “We flew over the relatives to Indiana for them to be with their loved ones. Thankfully they got to go over there to be with him.”

At Poetsema's home base in Roosendaal, Netherlands, commandos hosted a moment of silence and an quiet area was established for people to reflect on the loss, according to a news release from the country's department of defense.

Poetsema was known by his peers as someone who wanted to help others.

"He did his unit great service when he was sent to Kabul, Afghan, for the evacuation order last year," the news release translated from Dutch reads. "While the chaos around the airport was mounting, it was Simmie, among others, who inventively created a new access road to the airport."

The new access road allowed the commandos to evacuate hundreds of Dutch citizens and Afghans.

Poetsema’s remains, the two commandos who were injured in the shooting and the rest of the unit will return to the Netherlands this week, van de Beek said.

"Everybody is shocked that this happened,” van de Beek said. “We are losing a great colleague and I'm sure everyone at the unit is going to miss him very much. We lost a really good colleague."
 

Hoosierhawkeye

HR Legend
Sep 16, 2008
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Sigh that's Hoosier Hospitality for you. Can't believe we actually used to have that on our license plates.
 

JMNSHO

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Mar 11, 2010
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Your government is paying elite money to train your elite ass overseas, and you’re partying it up at 3:30AM outside shenanigans sports bar.