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Memorial Held For Policeman Slain After Boston Marathon Bombing


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 18 (Reuters) - More than 1,600 people gathered at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology on Friday for a memorial service for a popular campus police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.

MIT police officer Sean Collier, 27, was shot multiple times in his car in an apparent confrontation with the bombing suspects days after the blast, which left three people dead and more than 260 injured when two homemade bombs exploded near the race's finish line. Collier was killed in an unsuccessful attempt to steal his gun, authorities said.

Police officers, government officials, students and faculty joined members of Collier's family at the outdoor service under a tent a short distance from where Collier was killed, a place marked by a temporary memorial planted with flowers.

"He was truly one of us," Israel Ruiz, MIT executive vice president and treasurer, told reporters before the ceremony.

"Sean really did die for us, and we loved him for that. We will never forget him, we will never forget his bravery," he said.

Ruiz unveiled plans for a permanent memorial modeled after an open hand, with five radial walls, expected to be completed next year. Cambridge Mayor David Maher said during the service that a nearby street corner would be named "Sean Collier Square."