NATO ally slams US gun violence after soldier’s death – Reuters
Dutch Defense Minister Raised Concerns After Dutch Soldier Killed in Shooting in Indiana
The death of a Dutch commando in Indiana is « very, very worrying » and Amsterdam is eagerly awaiting the results of the police investigation into the case, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said on Tuesday. Three soldiers were injured Saturday in what Indianapolis police called a drive-by shooting. They were in the United States to train in urban warfare.
« We do a lot of training of our military in the United States, and we really don’t expect that to happen, » Ollongren told AP in Prague, where she was attending a meeting of EU defense ministers.
Ollongren said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin contacted her on Monday « to express his regrets and condolences » to the death of the Dutch soldier. However, she will not comment further on the matter.
« We have read things in the media, we have heard what the mayor has said but we think it is very important to have a real thorough investigation. So we are waiting for that until we comment on what happened. really happened, said Ollongren.
The Dutch Ministry of Defense said on Monday that Simmie Poetsema, 26, died from his injuries « surrounded by family and colleagues. » He was one of three members of the Korps Commandotroepen (KCT), the elite unit of the Royal Netherlands Army, who was shot down over the weekend in downtown Indianapolis.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the soldiers had returned to a downtown hotel after a « fight » at a nearby bar, and were outside when they were targeted in what he called « a drive-by shooting. »
“Too often, and not just in Indianapolis, conflict resolution has become just people pulling out guns and shooting each other,” Hogsett told reporters Tuesday, adding that he still believes downtown Indianapolis is safe.
Indianapolis police said only that their detectives were working to identify the suspects and that « Release of certain investigative information could negatively impact the ability to obtain justice in this case. » They neither confirmed nor denied Hogsett’s account, saying only that there was a « disturbance » outside the Hampton Inn hotel around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Poetsema and his commando colleagues were in Indiana training at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, a 1,000-acre facility about 110 miles southeast of Indianapolis, according to the Indiana National Guard.