SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 20, 2013

University mourns slain MIT officer

(Continued)

Yesterday, Orcutt’s daughter, who was 8 years old on the trip to England, reminded her mother of the Salem State student who looked out for her.

“Sean was the one who, every time we were crossing a busy street, would grab her hand,” Orcutt said.

Collier made the dean’s list at Salem State and graduated with honors.

While in college, he worked at the Bertucci’s restaurant in Vinnin Square. Even there, his dream wasn’t far away.

“Sean was a server but also worked the bar sometimes,” Priscilla Swain, a Salem State graduate, wrote in an e-mail. “When things were slow, I would pull up a chair and just talk to him. He was so easy to talk to.

“Sean was so funny. His humor was smart and infectious. ... Sean talked constantly about being a police officer. He was focused on his career. He was excited to follow his dream. He told stories about his experiences in different police settings and couldn’t wait to be doing police work full time.

“When he left the restaurant to fulfill his dream, I was so happy for him and proud of his passion.”

In a strange twist to this tragic story, reports surfaced yesterday that Collier and one of the bombing suspects have links to the same boxing gym.

Bob Covino, who co-founded the Somerville Boxing Club, said that 26-year-old bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev trained at the gym several years ago. Collier began volunteering at the gym seven or eight months ago, according to Covino.

Covino said it’s very unlikely the two men crossed paths at the gym, because he hasn’t seen Tsarnaev for several years and Collier came over only recently.

Covino said Collier had been helping teach the younger boxers.

Yesterday, Collier’s family issued the following statement:

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