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Boston Marathon Bombings Update: Slain MIT officer identified as Sean Collier

Sean Collier CBS Boston

(CBS/WBZ) - An MIT police officer who was shot and killed Thursday night apparently in a confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects has been identified as 26-year-old Sean Collier of Somerville, Massachusetts.

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According to CBS Boston, Collier joined the MIT police force in January of 2012. MIT Police Chief John DiFava described Collier as a "dedicated officer who was extremely well liked by his colleagues."

Collier, who had been responding to a disturbance, was found shot multiple times in his vehicle near the State Center on campus around 10:30 p.m.

Authorities investigating the shooting determined two males were involved, according to a statement by the Middlesex District Attorney's office. Shortly after, police received reports of an armed carjacking by two males in the area of Third Street in Cambridge.

The suspects in both crimes were believed to be the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

There was then a gunfight in Watertown, during which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was reportedly killed. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was still at large Friday morning.

Collier was a 2009 graduate of Salem State, where he earned a criminal justice degree with honors.

His family released the following statement Friday afternoon:

"We are heartbroken by the loss of our wonderful and caring son and brother, Sean Collier. Our only solace is that Sean died bravely doing what he committed his life to - serving and protecting others. We are thankful for the outpouring of support and condolences offered by so many people. We are grieving his loss and ask that the media respect our privacy at this time."

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