The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), police officer killed Thursday night, by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects has been identified as 26-year-old Sean Collier. Patrol Officer Collier was single and a native of Wilmington, Mass. He currently lived in Somerville Mass. where he served as a civilian officer, in the information technology department, for the Somerville Police Department prior to obtaining his job as a patrol officer for the MIT Police Department in January 2012. Collier was on the police force for a year and three months before being slain last night. MIT Police Chief John DiFava described Officer Collier was described as being dedicated,well-liked, and very involved in activities on campus. Collier was active in the MIT Outing Club and often joined students on hiking and skiing trips.
“In a very short period of time, it was remarkable how engaged he was with students, particularly graduate students,” DiFava said in a statement, he added,“Sean was one of these guys who really looked at police work as a calling. He was born to be a police officer.”
His friends are remembering him as someone who was funny and always liked to help. According to the people close to him Sean was hoping to use his job as an officer for the MIT Police Department as a stepping stone on the his way to the Somerville PD where he ultimately hoped to start a career. His roommate described him as the ‘best guy’ through tears. A Somerville Police Sergeant called him a ‘great guy’ and another of his friends described him as wanting to protect everyone around him.
Salem State University also released a statement regarding the loss of Officer Collier:
“We are deeply saddened to learn that Sean Collier, a member of Salem State’s class of 2009, was killed last night in the line of duty. He was a campus police officer at MIT. Sean received a criminal justice degree and graduated with honors,” the university said in a statement. “Our thoughts and sympathy go out to Sean’s family as well as all those affected by the recent tragic events in Boston.”
Officer Collier was responding to a disturbance on the MIT campus around 10:20 last night when he was killed. Ten minutes after reports of gunfire on the campus, additional officer responded and found officer Collier shot multiple times in his vehicle. He was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Sean’s death resulted in a citywide manhunt for his killers and ultimately led to the identification of the Marathon Bombers, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tamerlan was killed last night after a deadly shootout with police, but his brother remains on the run. The city of Boston is under siege this afternoon while mourning the loss of their fallen hero.
MIT President President L. Rafael Reif shared his thoughts on the tragic death of the young officer.
“The loss of Officer Collier is deeply painful to the entire MIT community. Our thoughts today are with his family, his friends, his colleagues on our police force and, by all accounts, the many other members of our community who knew him. This is a senseless and tragic loss.”
So while the hunt continues for the remaining suspect into the Boston bombing and Officer Collier’s death a city mourns. They mourn not only for the victims of Monday’s senseless attack but for the fallen hero that was taken from them too soon while serving to keep his community safe. Anytime an officer dies it is a loss that reverberates through not only the city where the officer lived but the country as a whole. So we will all mourn the loss of this hero today, Rest in Peace Officer Collier.
Please contact the following agency if you wish to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Chief of Police John DiFava
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Department
301 Vassar Street, Building W8
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: (617) 253-1212