MIT Medical, along with the rest of the Institute community, mourns the loss of Officer Sean Collier of the MIT Police, who was killed in the line of duty on Thursday night, April 18. Student EMT Dylan Soukup '14 of MIT-EMS, one of the first responders on the scene after the shooting, wrote the moving tribute below. Additional remembrances of "Officer Sean," as he was known, can be found at http://seancolliermemories.tumblr.com and condolences may be left at http://officer179.mit.edu/.
I know many of you have been concerned about me over the past 24 hours as the events of the MIT shooting unfolded. Many of you know that I work on the MIT ambulance and know that I was on shift at the time of the shooting last night. I received countless texts, emails, and messages checking in on me and have simply been unable to respond. I want to thank all of you and say that I am safe, I am surrounded by loving people, and I am working to make sense of last night’s events. I was in fact one of the first responders last night. Though I cannot speak to the events of last night, I want to speak of the great loss this campus endured.
Officer Sean Collier was a friend of mine and of the entire MIT ambulance service. Officer Sean, as we on the MIT ambulance service call him, had one of the biggest, brightest, never-ending smiles. There was not a day that we drove by him in his patrol car, saw him walking around campus, or were responding to an emergency call with him that he didn’t stop to say hello,talk with us, help us, or at the very least shoot us a big bright smile. Officer Sean would come to the EMS bunkroom after he got off duty and would sit and chat with the on-duty EMT crew or play Xbox with us, because that is just the fun-loving kind of guy he was. Not an hour before Officer Sean passed away,I drove past his patrol car in the ambulance and he gave his emergency lights a quick flick, I gave ours a quick flick too, and we all waved, smiled, and laughed as we each went our different directions. It was these moments, where Officer Sean went out of his way to make people happy, to go above and beyond his job to treat the people of MIT as friends. To say that we lost a great man could not be more of an understatement. Last night, we lost a family member, a friend, a lovable personality, a fellow public responder, and a protector. Officer Sean stood between those that irrationally wish to harm and those that are good in the world in order to protect. And for that, we have truly lost a hero.
This is a time of great mourning for the MIT community, the city of Boston, the state of Massachusetts, and the nation as a whole. In the name of Sean, in the name of those who died in the Boston Marathon attacks, in the name of all who have been affected by this unfathomable violence, we come together. We come together to pray, we come together to pay our respects, we come together to remind ourselves that all around us, we are surrounded by good. Yesterday we lost an incredible good in this world. We lost a man who swore to protect and serve and he will go down in history for making the ultimate sacrifice to uphold this promise. And in this grim moment, in which we have lost one of the most courageous individuals of our campus, our city, and our nation, a moment in which we are overcome with pain and loss, we look around and find solace in the good that continues to and always will surround us. We come together. We work together. We laugh together. We remember together. And above all, we, those who are good, stay together.
Thank you for all you did. May you rest in peace, Officer Sean. You shall never be forgotten.