TODAY

TODAY   |  April 23, 2013

Sister of slain MIT officer: ‘It’s a nightmare’

The siblings of MIT campus police officer Sean Collier, who was gunned down Thursday night, allegedly by the accused Boston Marathon bombers, speak about their brother, remembering his kind spirit and saying he “just cared for other people.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> joe biden and dr. jill biden will travel to cambridge for a memorial service for m.i.t. police officer sean collier. on monday i spoke exclusively to collier's siblings, i began by asking them how their family was coping with the terrible loss.

>> i think we're coping as best as we possibly can. we are a very large and close family, rallied together at our parents' house, spending time together and trying to remember the best parts about sean .

>> nicole, this must have been terrifying. you find out of course that something has happened at the m.i.t. campus and then you find out that it is your brother, sean .

>> it was a nightmare come true.

>> how are your parents doing this morning?

>> as well as can be expected. i think everybody's just going through the motions right now and pulling together for sean because that's what he would want us to do.

>> and let's talk about sean , because we've got on it learn in the last few days what a wonderful person that he was. andrew, what would you want people to know about him?

>> sean was such a good person. i remember when he was a kid, there would be a bug in the house, an ant in the house, and he would go to get it with a napkin and it's, no, no, no don't kill it. you into ed to put him outside, you need to put him outside, stories of being at restaurants and seeing a woman crying and all of us are sitting there kind of just, you know, doing our thing, eating our papa gino's and sean just obsessing that my mom needs to go over there and try to help, and i think that really shows from the very start sean 's, just care for other people and it's almost something that i took for granted and didn't realize, but now you know, through his death i realize how good of a person he was and i wish i could have told him that, while he was still here.

>> rob it sounds like he was just a natural born protector his whole life. how important was this work of policing to him?

>> oh, very important. ever since we were kids, sean and andy would be doing something to each other, andy would take off and sean would be taking off after him siren noises, pull over, you're breaking the law . ever since a young age this is what he's wanted to do and he did it. he worked his tail off and he really, you know, has made us all very proud of him.

>> jennifer, what's it been like to see the outpouring and hear from people you guys didn't know to hear what an impact he had on their lives?

>> that's been really just amazing for our whole family because we see a side of seanie, he's my jerky little brother who is too cool for me. we've been able to hear about him volunteering, taking time out to personally meet students at m.i.t. that he worked with, playing sports in the community with his friends. we get to see a whole other side to him that he was just so humble and didn't really speak to us about.

>> jennifer, finally, so many people want to help and have been touched by this story. you set it up so donations could be sent to the jimmy fund and there's a history behind that with you and your brother, correct?

>> there is. there is a summer sean was in high school and i was in college and we had a summer job together at a medical office but we would listen to the radio to pass the time and that one day they were doing a fund-raiser on this radio station for the jimmy fund and they just told stories of these children who were fighting for their lives and their families and sean was just so impacted by that, and he went home and made a donation. just this high school kid, he had no money but made a small donation and he set up a recurring payment from his own account to make regular donations to the jimmy fund and did that until the day he died and so we wanted to carry that on for him.

>> he sounds like an extraordinary person and we are so grateful to you for sharing more about him. thank you so much.

>> thank you.