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Sean Collier, the MIT Police Officer who was allegedly killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects a year ago today, was remembered by the people who knew him and worked with him in a ceremony.
Collier was shot and killed by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as they tried to flee the Boston area. That sparked a day-long manhunt that shut down a major American city as officials tried to keep the brothers from getting any farther. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police and Dzhokhar was arrested. His trial starts in November.
In total, three people died at the marathon and over 260 people were injured. The city marked the one-year anniversary on Tuesday.
Collier, 26, was remembered as a hero today. “Although it came at awful price, I now know heroes still walk on God's earth,” MIT Police Chief John DiFava said, notes WCVB. “I've been a member of law enforcement for more than 40 years, and Sean was as good as I have ever seen, and probably better than most,” he added later.
According to The Boston Globe, DiFava recalled how he got close to Collier, who was only with the small force for 15 months. He was planning on moving to the Somerville police force.
Collier “was wise beyond his years,” DiFava said. “I tell you, it was scary.” He said Collier was “truly one of the brave ones.”
Sara Ferry, an MIT student, said, “Sean was taken from us from a moment of extreme evil, but that never defined how we remember him on this campus. When Sean left, love rushed in.”
MIT executive vice president Israel Ruiz spoke about a day in February 2013 when road traffic in Massachusetts was shut down due to a blizzard. He recalled how Collier helped a man who needed directions that day, as his cruiser was the only car on the road.
“Two months later, the same instinct to help was there,” Ruiz said. “Only this time, the worst evil was on the other side of the window.”
There were around 1,600 people at the ceremony, which was held at the Main and Vassar intersection. A group of Collier’s friends will be wearing his badge number during the 2014 Boston Marathon on Monday to raise money for a scholarship fund.