Chief: Slain MIT cop was ‘born to be a police officer’

Mike Krumboltz
The Lookout

MIT Police Officer Sean Collier (AP/Middlesex District Attorney's Office)
MIT Police Officer Sean Collier (AP/Middlesex District Attorney's Office)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean A. Collier, 26, was killed in his vehicle while responding to a disturbance on Thursday night. Authorities believe the Boston bombing suspects shot Collier. He was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.

MIT officials have offered their condolences. MIT Chief John DiFava, speaking to MIT News, said Collier "was one of these guys who really looked at police work as a calling. He was born to be a police officer."

Collier joined the MIT police force in January, 2012. Difava said, "In a very short period of time, it was remarkable how engaged he was with students."

According to MIT News, Collier enjoyed skiing and hiking, and often joined students on outings.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif called the loss "deeply painful" to the MIT community. "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," said Reif. "This is a senseless and tragic loss."

The Boston Globe spoke with Collier's roommate, a fellow police officer who trained with Collier. The roommate, who did not provide his name, described Collier as "awesome," whose only fault was that he may have been too brave. "He was the guy who went to help. The best guy got shot down by the biggest scumbags."

Collier's friend and health club trainer, Chrissy, told the Globe that Collier liked country music and was protective of those in need. They met before Collier joined the MIT police force. Later, Collier had helped Chrissy after she had been assaulted. According to the Globe:

When she was assaulted in the fall of 2011, she had to report to the Somerville police station to identify suspects in a lineup. She was upset and scared, but to her surprise, when she arrived at the station, Collier greeted her at the front desk and then stayed with her throughout the process.

"He sat with me while I was waiting to go in for the lineup and drove me home after to make sure I was OK," Chrissy said, saying his presence helped her get through that day and the days that followed.

Collier was raised in Wilmington, Mass. He was single and a 2009 graduate of Salem State University, where he received a criminal justice degree and graduated with honors.