MIT Patrol Officer Sean Collier was the man killed Thursday night in a shootout between police and the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, MIT said Friday.
The 26-year-old Somerville, Mass., native, drew praise from superiors and was known for his affable personality.
"Sean was one of these guys who really looked at police work as a calling," MIT Police Chief John DiFava told MIT News. "He was born to be a police officer."
Well-liked by students, Collier was active with the MIT Outing Club, an outdoors club, according to MIT News:
Dozens of other students and alumni who met Collier in his 15 months at MIT described him as "dedicated," "cheerful," "personable," "charming" and "kind." Many encountered him through his involvement with MIT-EMS, the Institute’s ambulance service — which transported the wounded officer to Massachusetts General Hospital last evening.
"Many on campus knew him because he was just so friendly," junior Max Ting recalled. "I had known of him for many months before having the pleasure of meeting him. … He was always smiling, always had a funny story to tell, and he would always remember what I was up to last time we spoke and would ask about it. … He truly was an asset to our campus." […]
The young officer, MIT senior Noel Morales said, was a regular presence at student events — and one who would always introduce himself to students, ask their names, and crack jokes. "He was always really fun to hang out with," Morales said.
Boston Globe reporter David Abel spoke with Colliers roommate Friday, who said, "He was the nicest person."
— David Abel (@davabel) April 19, 2013
At some point Thursday night, the two bombing suspects engaged MIT police officers with gunfire and carjacked a Mercedes. Another shootout later occurred, which killed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder suspect.