MIT officer Sean Collier was shot and killed Thursday night by Boston Marathon bombing suspects, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as they robbed a 7-Eleven. Collier is the Boston Bombers’ fourth victim, according to authorities.
26-year-old Collier, of Somerville, Massachusetts, had worked in the institute for 2 years. He was a much-loved MIT campus police officer. MIT Police Chief John DiFava said:
“Collier was extremely well liked by his colleagues and the MIT community.”
He was shot multiple times in his squad car around 10:20 p.m. after the brothers attempted to rob a 7-Eleven, according to police. Collier was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.
After killing Collier, the brothers carjacked a Mercedes SUV near Third St. in Cambridge, and held the driver at gunpoint for about a half-hour and released him uninjured at a gas station on Memorial Dr., police said. Cops chased the vehicle about five miles into Watertown, as the bombers dropped explosives from the car.
According to police, there was a fierce gun battle between the brothers and the police in the area of Dexter and Laurel Sts., during which Tamerlan was killed. Also Richard Donohue, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer, was shot and taken to Mount Auburn Hospital where he is in critical condition, according to reports.
Sean Collier joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police force in January 2012. Before that, he worked in the Somerville Police Department. Even after he switched to MIT, he still helped maintain the Somerville Police Department website, which he had helped build, according to Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, who also said:
“He was an outstanding employee for us. I have no doubt he was also an incredible officer for MIT.”
Collier graduated with honors from Salem State University in 2009 where he majored in criminal justice. He was raised in the north-eastern Massachusetts city of Wilmington, and was single.
Collier was part of the MIT Outing Club, which organizes outdoor activities for the university community. Members of the club have created an online page to post memories of the deceased police officer. Collier was also a member of the WAKA Kickball league of greater Boston.