NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Breaking News

Local News

April 20, 2013

Salem State mourns slain police officer

SALEM — Sean Collier was born to be a police officer.

The 2009 Salem State University graduate talked about it all the time: he wanted to be a cop.

“It was pretty much a dream of his,” said Kristen Kuehlne, a criminal justice professor at Salem State.

Amanda Orcutt, his college advisor, remembers the first time Collier walked into her office. “He just said, ‘I want to be a police officer.’ Everything he did from that point forward was toward that goal.”

On Thursday night, Collier, a 26-year-old MIT police officer, was shot and killed by suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing.

The young officer responded to a disturbance on the MIT campus and was shot several times in his vehicle, according to police. He was found around 10:30 p.m. and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

After working in a civilian role with Somerville Police, the Wilmington native was hired in January 2012 by MIT campus police. MIT Chief John DiFava described him as a dedicated officer.

At Salem State, Collier is remembered for his intelligence, dedication, sense of humor and heart.

“He was a good person,” said Orcutt. “He just wanted to help. He had a sense it was his obligation as a human being to help other people.”

Orcutt, an associate professor of criminal justice, not only taught Collier and served as his academic advisor, she also traveled with him and other students on a study abroad to England.

After graduation, they kept in touch. Last year, he emailed her with the news he had been hired at MIT.

“He was excited about that,” she said.

Serving as a police officer was just an extension of the kind of person Collier was, Orcutt said.

“It wasn’t just that (being a police officer) was his life goal,” she said. “He did that in everything he did. He was a first responder. He helped people with their bags. If someone tripped and fell down on the sidewalk, he was the first to ... reach out his hand. That was who he was.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Special Features