The Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer said to have been shot and killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects has been identified as 26-year-old Sean Collier.

Slain MIT officer Sean Collier (MIT)

The Middlesex district attorney's office says Collier was a Somerville resident who had worked at MIT since January 2012. Before that, he was a civilian employee of the Somerville Police Department.

MIT Police Chief John DiFava says Collier was a dedicated officer who was liked by his colleagues and the MIT community.

“Sean was one of these guys who really looked at police work as a calling,” DiFava said in a news release issued by MIT. “He was born to be a police officer.”

The loss of Officer Collier is deeply painful to the entire MIT community,” said MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “Our thoughts today are with his family, his friends, his colleagues on our police force and, by all accounts, the many other members of our community who knew him. This is a senseless and tragic loss.”

“The MIT Police serve all of us at the Institute with great dignity, honor and dedication,” said Israel Ruiz, MIT’s executive vice president and treasure in an MIT news release. “Everyone here — those who knew Officer Collier, and those who did not — are devastated by the events that transpired on our campus last night. We will never forget the seriousness with which he took his role protecting MIT and those of us who consider it home.”

Shootout with Bombing Suspects

Authorities said surveillance tape recorded late Thursday showed Boston Bombing Suspect No. 2 during a robbery of a convenience store in Cambridge, near the campus of MIT, where Collier  was shot to death while responding to a report of a disturbance.  Collier was shot several times in his vehicle in Cambridge at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

He was pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.