A 26-year-old MIT police officer, identified as Sean Collier, was killed on Thursday night during a police shoot out with the two men who have been named as suspects in the Boston bombing.
Collier was discovered in his vehicle near Cambridge at around 10:30 pm with multiple shot wounds, according to the Associated Press. The two bombing suspects, identified as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, threw explosives at police after robbing a 7-11 and stealing an SUV. Tamerlan, the eldest of the two brothers, was also killed in the confrontation.
Collier was a civilian employee with the Somerville Police Department before he became an officer at MIT in January of 2009, according to the MIT website.
"Sean was one of these guys who really looked at police work as a calling," said MIT Police Chief John DiFava. "He was born to be a police officer."
Those who were close to Collier on campus described him as being highly "engaged" with students. The school's president expressed condolences to Collier's family.
"The loss of Officer Collier is deeply painful to the entire MIT community," said MIT President L. Rafael Reif. "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."
He took his job very seriously, said Israel Ruiz, MIT's executive vice president and treasure.
"Everyone here - those who knew Officer Collier, and those who did not - are devastated by the events that transpired on our campus last night. We will never forget the seriousness with which he took his role protecting MIT and those of us who consider it home."
Boston and nearby suburbs remain on lockdown as police continue to search for the second suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, who is still on the run.