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RUTLAND (CBS) – An off-duty Rutland, Massachusetts police officer was murdered in Indianapolis, Indiana early Friday morning, according to police.
Sean Cooney, 27, was found unconscious around 2:30 a.m. in an alley near the Sylvania Apartments on East St. Clair Street in downtown Indianapolis.
Police said Cooney was suffering from an apparent trauma to the head. He was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital, where he later died.
Rutland Police Chief Donald Haapakoski said Friday night that he had learned Cooney was breaking up a fight when he was killed, and that he died a hero.
Police were interviewing witnesses and said they had several persons of interest.
Cooney, a part-time Rutland police officer and full-time court officer, was visiting Indianapolis to make funeral arrangements for a close childhood friend who had passed away in that area.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones reports
At Cooney’s Worcester home, his family is torn apart, trying to cope with a heartbreaking murder hundreds of miles away.
“They just took a real, real wonderful person away from us, whoever did this. His family is devastated,” family friend John Harrity said.
Rutland Police Department is also draped in grief. Cooney had worked as a dispatcher there for three years and was in field training as a rookie cop.
Word of his murder is a devastating blow to his tight knit law enforcement family.
“We lost a friend and a brother and we’re going to feel this for a long time. He was just an unbelievable guy who goes out of his way to do anything for anybody,” Cooney’s training officer Sgt. Nick Monaco said.
Chief Donald Haapakoski called Cooney’s death a tremendous loss.
“He was very close to all of our officers, all of our firefighters, he’s going to be sorely missed.”
WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran contributed to this report. You can follow her on Twitter @KathyWBZ.