Update: Dutch commando dies after shooting outside US hotel

The silhouette of a Dutch commando with the sun in the background

A Dutch commando has died of his injuries after being shot outside an Indianapolis hotel while off-duty.

He was one of three Dutch soldiers, all in the US for training exercises, who were wounded in the shooting in the early hours of Saturday.

According to the Dutch Defence Ministry, the two other victims are conscious and stable in hospital.

Police believe the shooting followed an earlier disturbance in downtown Indianapolis, but gave few details.

The deceased soldier has been identified by police as Simmie Poetsema. A spokesman for the Royal Netherlands Army told the Indianapolis Star newspaper on Monday that his family were at his bedside when he succumbed to his injuries.

The city’s law enforcement agencies are still investigating the shooting and have so far not made any arrests.

The incident took place just before 04:00 (08:00 GMT) on Saturday outside the Hampton Inn Hotel in the city’s entertainment district, where the three soldiers had been staying.

Officials believe the shooting followed a previous altercation including one or multiple other people at another location in the city.

The city’s mayor told reporters on Monday that the attack may have been a drive-by shooting.

“As I understand it there was a scuffle at a bar and the Dutch guardsmen had returned back to their hotel,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.

“What they were doing outside I’m not altogether sure, but I’m told the alleged perpetrators did a drive-by shooting and ultimately three were victimized by that shooting.”

All three of the soldiers were members of the Commando Corps, one of the special operations units in the Netherlands armed forces. Dutch defence officials confirmed the soldiers had been off-duty at the time.

Investigators said the soldiers had been training at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center before visiting Indiana’s state capital at the end of their duty day.

As well as being used by the US Department of Defense, the Indiana military centre is used by the armed forces of the US’s international allies for training purposes as well.

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin spoke to Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren on Monday to express his “deepest condolences”.

“My thoughts are with their families and teammates,” he wrote on Twitter after the call.

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