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Manhunt for Marathon Bombers Follows Shooting Death of MIT Police Officer

Officials search an area at Massachusetts Institute of Technology following reports of a shooting, Friday, April 19, 2013, in Boston. State police say a campus police officer at the school has died from injuries in a shooting on the campus outside Boston. State police spokesman Dave Procopio says the shooting took place about 10:30 p.m. Thursday outside an MIT building. The injured officer was described as a male but no further information about him was released. The city continues to cope following Monday's explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Officials searched an area at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology early Friday, following reports of a shooting. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

[For more on this story, see this Chronicle article. Last updated: 11:51 a.m.]

The authorities identified the MIT police officer shot dead by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects as Sean A. Collier, 26, of Somerville, Mass. They said Officer Collier had been found in his car, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, roughly 10 minutes after the police received reports of shots fired on the MIT campus, around 10:20 p.m. on Thursday night.

In a written statement, the university said Officer Collier had been a member of its police force since last January. John DiFava, MIT’s police chief, lauded Officer Collier’s service, saying he “looked at police work as a calling” and was highly involved with the university’s students.

Elsewhere in Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth said on Friday morning that its campus was being evacuated, “in response to information that the person being sought in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing is a registered student.” The university’s statement did not identify the student in question, but reports in The Boston Globe and other news outlets said that the authorities were searching for Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19.

A spokeswoman for Bunker Hill Community College confirmed that the suspect’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a firefight with the police early Friday morning, was a part-time student at the college for three semesters, from 2006 to 2008.

An earlier version of this post, last updated at 6:53 a.m., follows.

A campus police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was shot and killed Thursday night, by what are thought to be the Boston Marathon bombers, and SWAT teams and other law-enforcement officers from multiple agencies killed one of the suspects in a firefight and were searching for the remaining gunman early this morning in nearby Watertown, Mass., according to authorities cited in reports by The Boston Globe and other news outlets.

A message posted on MIT’s emergency-information Web page shortly before 2 a.m. said the police had determined that gunmen were no longer on the campus, adding, “It is now safe to resume normal activities. Please remain vigilant in the coming hours.” But shortly after 6 a.m., the university canceled classes for today and told employees that they could take excused absences.

Boston University, one of whose graduate students was killed in Monday’s bombings, also canceled classes. Boston and Emerson Colleges and Harvard University also have closed. And with the manhunt and shutdown of the regional transit system, other colleges are likely to do so as well.

The officer, who was not identified, was shot multiple times in his car following a reported robbery of a local store, the authorities said, and a manhunt quickly commenced.

Shortly after the shooting, which occurred about 10:30 p.m., the university sent out a text alert and tweets warning students to stay indoors and asking people to stay away from Building 32, the campus’s well-known Stata Center, where police officers and SWAT teams were gathering:

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Around an hour and a half after the shots were reported, the Massachusetts State Police confirmed to NBC that a campus police officer had been killed by multiple gunshots. Rumors about the shooting had already been circulating on social media after MIT’s student newspaper, The Tech, published a photo of the scene.

nbc

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