MIT officer Sean Collier to be buried Tuesday

A hearse carries the body of slain MIT police officer Sean Collier near the Town Common in Wilmington, April 20, 2013. Credit: Dominick Reuter/Reuters
A hearse carries the body of slain MIT police officer Sean Collier near the Town Common in Wilmington on Saturday. Credit: Dominick Reuter/Reuters

Family and friends will gather Tuesday in Stoneham to say a final goodbye to Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, who was killed last Thursday night.

MIT plans to hold a public memorial service Wednesday at Briggs Field on campus. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, are expected to attend.

Collier worked for the MIT police for about a year and planned to join the Somerville Police Department this summer.

“Sean was one of these guys who really looked at police work as a calling,” MIT Police Chief John DiFava told the university’s press office. “He was born to be a police officer.”

Authorities say Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev shot Collier as he sat in his police cruiser on campus, near the corner of Main and Vassar streets. CBS News reports the brothers wanted to steal Collier’s gun.

One of six children, Collier was from Wilmington and graduated from Salem State University.

MIT students said he was active on campus, especially with the MIT Outing Club and MIT-EMS, the school’s ambulance service.

“He wanted to get to know students — he wanted to understand us,” senior Michele Pratusevich told MIT News. “And he did it; he knew which students he was protecting every day when he came to work. By getting to know students, by talking to us, by sharing memories with us, by hiking with us, by dancing with us, by listening to music with us, he knew his community. He loved us, and we loved him.”

MIT has established the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund and the Collier Medal, which will be awarded “to individuals who demonstrate Collier’s values,” according to the school.

Collier’s family is also asking that donations in his honor be sent to the Jimmy Fund, which Collier supported for many years.

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