10 years later: Remembering fallen MIT Officer Sean Collier killed days after marathon bombings

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Member of law enforcement and the community gathered in Cambridge on Tuesday to mark the day, 10 years ago, when Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean Collier was killed in the line of duty.

The 27-year-old officer was on duty and in his patrol vehicle in Cambridge on April 18, 2013 when he was ambushed by the Boston Marathon bombers and shot and killed.

His slaying occurred during a tense, four-day manhunt that paralyzed the city of Boston and surrounding communities after two bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three and wounding more than 250 people. Boston Police Officer Dennis Simmonds also died a year after he was wounded in a confrontation with the bombers.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was on the run after the bombings along with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is accused of shooting and killing Collier in a failed attempt to steal his gun.

Since that day, his family, friends and the law enforcement community have mourned Collier’s loss.

MIT Police held a special ceremony on Tuesday to remember their fallen officer.

In 2020, a full-page newspaper ad with the picture of Collier from the slain officer’s family appealed to all Americans to support police officers.

“His name was Sean Collier,” the ad began. “He was a police officer in Massachusetts. He dedicated his life to helping others both on the job and in his community. He was compassionate and caring. He believed in lifting people up, not tearing them down.”

“He was not alone,” the ad continued. “He was one of thousands of officers in the Commonwealth that are supporting our citizens every day.”

“He was killed doing his job. He was 27 years old. His name was Sean Collier. He was a police officer in Massachusetts. He was our son. Remember his name,” the ad concluded.

Since Collier’s murder, people from all walks of life have come together to honor his memory and remember his contributions to society.

There is a memorial for Collier on the campus of MIT in Cambridge. A playground to honor Collier was also built in his hometown of Wilmington.

In the days preceding Collier’s death, when the the bombs exploded near the marathon finish line, three others were killed: Lu Lingzi, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager from Medford; and 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was watching the marathon with his family.

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