Slain MIT Police Officer Identified As 26-Year-Old From Somerville

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – An MIT police officer shot and killed Thursday night has been identified as Sean Collier, 26, of Somerville.

Collier was found in his vehicle near the Stata Center on campus around 10:30 p.m. He had several gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at Mass. General Hospital.

According to WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve, the brothers wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings ambushed Collier, shot him five or six times and once in the head.  Collier never drew his weapon.  His gun was found in his holster.  Five 9 mm shells were found at the scene.

Earlier, police reported that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had held up a convenience store in Cambridge and thought Collier had a description of them. State Police later said the brothers did not rob a store, and it is unknown what led up to the shooting of Collier.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was later killed by police in a confrontation in Watertown.  His brother was at large Friday afteroon.

Officer Sean Collier joined the MIT police force in January of 2012. Prior to that he was a civilian employee of the Somerville Police Department. MIT Police Chief John DiFava described Collier as a “dedicated officer who was extremely well liked by his colleagues.”

Wilmington Selectman Lou Cimaglia said Collier graduated from Wilmington High School in 2004. He went on to graduate from Salem State University with honors in 2009, with a degree in criminal justice.

Collier’s family released this statement Friday afternoon:

“We are heartbroken by the loss of our wonderful and caring son and brother, Sean Collier. Our only solace is that Sean died bravely doing what he committed his life to – serving and protecting others. We are thankful for the outpouring of support and condolences offered by so many people. We are grieving his loss and ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.”

Collier’s brother is an employee at Hendrick Motorsports, and NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson released a statement Friday afternoon.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Collier family and I certainly know it’s the same thing for all of Hendrick Motorsports,” Johnson said. “We’re one big family. It’s sad and unfortunate to see a fellow teammate and his family going through such a tough time.”

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