Private funeral service held for MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, allegedly murdered by Boston Marathon terrorists
STONEHAM — A private funeral service for MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was held today at St. Patrick’s Church where the slain’s officer’s casket was watched over by an honor guard from the two police departments where he once worked.
Collier, 27, was attacked near Kendall Square in Cambridge in what Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis has called a “vicious assassination,’’ an attack that helped spur a massive law enforcement response that ended with suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev fatally wounded and his brother, Dzhokhar, captured after a 20-hour manhunt.
At the request of his family, the services were closed to the press.
Since his death, Collier’s family and friends have described a man who seemed destined to be a police officer, someone who had helped others since his childhood years in Wilmington, where he grew up with five siblings.
His siblings told the Globe’s Kevin Cullen what they called “Sean stories,” kind acts undertaken by him during their shared childhoods that continued once they became parents.
“When people say he was born to be a cop, they should know that didn’t start when he was 18,” his brother, Rob Rogers, told Cullen. “It started at 3, when he began looking out for everybody.”
The hearse carrying Collier’s casket arrived with an escort of police officers from around the region. In the lead were officers from the Somerville police where Collier worked as a civilian but was planning to return as an officer, and the MIT police, where he had worked since last year.
When Collier’s family emerged from their vehicles to enter the church, silence descended on the neighborhood until they made their way inside.
Among those standing outside the church were Heather Tighe and her son, Brendan, who came from Woburn to show their support for Collier and his family.
Before noon, the hearse carrying Collier’s body left the church led by the officer’s new black Ford F-150 truck that he bought two months ago.
Alleged bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was reported in fair condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, officials said.
On Wednesday, MIT will host a memorial service that is expected to be attended by Vice President Joseph Biden, top MIT officials, police officers from across the country, and other members of the MIT community.
However, the service will not be open to the general public.
Officials are warning that traffic near Briggs Field will be impacted.
- Vassar Street will be closed at 6 a.m. on Wednesday between Audrey Street and Massachusetts Ave.
- Massachusetts Avenue will be closed from Albany Street toward Boston start at 7 a.m.
- Memorial Drive will be closed beginning at noon Wednesday between Mass. Ave. and the BU Bridge.
- Massachusetts Avenue bridge into Cambridge will be closed starting at 7 a.m.Brian Ballou can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @globeballou. John R. Ellement can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.