- (PHOTO: MIT)
A 26-year-old MIT police officer identified as Sean Collier was killed on Thursday night after the two men suspected in the Boston bombings fired at Collier, who was responding to a disturbance on the campus.
Events on Thursday night began when the two bombing suspects, identified as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, robbed a 7-11 store. Blocks away, they shot campus officer Collier, who was responding to a call at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Collier was discovered in his vehicle near Cambridge at around 10:30 p.m. with multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Associated Press.
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 his 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 treasurer.
"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," Ruiz said.
After killing Collier the two men fled, highjacked an SUV, and took the driver of the SUV hostage. That hostage was later released and told police that the two suspects told him they were the Boston bombers. In the police chase that ensued, Tamerlan was shot and killed, although the younger suspect escaped.
Boston and Watertown along with nearby suburbs remained on lockdown Friday afternoon as police continued to search for the second suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, who is still on the run.