The university officer who was fatally wounded during a shootout with the two Marathon bombing suspects on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus on Thursday night has been identified as Sean Collier, 26, of Middlesex, Mass.
According to the Huffington Post, Collier was shot multiple times during a shootout with Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings. Collier had been responding to reports of shots fired on the MIT campus, according to the Cambridge Police Department. Authorities said that Collier was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Prior to joining the police force, Collier had specialized in information technology at the Somerville Police Department, and volunteered as an auxiliary police officer.
Shortly after the deadly shooting, the two men reportedly committed an armed carjacking, later releasing the occupant of the vehicle at a gas station, uninjured. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, the older brother, was later killed in a firefight with police.
Somerville Police Lt. William Rymill told the publication that Collier had “a heart of gold” and was dedicated to public service. "He is going to be greatly, sorely missed," Rymill said. "He was an all-around great person."
Dave Procopio, a spokesman for the Massachusetts state police, confirmed that the deadly shooting took place at approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the Associated Press reported. Procopio said Collier was the only victim in the shootout on the prestigious university campus, which has a student population of approximately 11,000.
MIT Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz and Chancellor Eric Gimson issued a joint statement on Friday, updating the MIT community on the overnight violence and thanking Collier for his courageous service.
“MIT suffered a tragedy last night: an MIT Police officer was shot and killed on our campus in the line of duty,” Ruiz and Gimson wrote. “While the circumstances around the officer's death remain the subject of an active investigation, what is certain is that the officer gave his life to defend the peace of our campus. His sacrifice will never be forgotten by the Institute. We are thinking now of his family, and our hearts are heavy.”