BOSTON — A Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was shot to death, sparking a manhunt on the campus in Cambridge, Mass. and nearby streets as the Boston area reels from this week’s terrorist bombing.
The officer, who was not identified, was responding to reports of a disturbance on campus last night when he was reportedly shot, according to a statement from Middlesex Acting District Attorney Michael Pelgro. He was found with multiple gunshot wounds and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Pelgro said.
Police early Friday were responding to reports of a carjacking and the possible shooting of a second officer about six miles from the MIT campus, according to law enforcement radio transmissions. The radio reports cited automatic gunfire and explosives on the scene.
The incident at MIT erupted with Boston still coming to grips with the April 15 bombing of the city’s annual marathon that killed three people and injured more than 170 others. The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday released images of two men it said were suspects in the attack and asked for public help in identifying them.
Gunshots were heard at about 10:48 p.m. local time last night near the Ray and Maria Stata Center, and people have been asked to stay clear of the area, according to a statement posted on the university’s website.
“Although the situation is considered active and extremely dangerous, an investigation is under way,” according to the statement.
Officers from state and local law enforcement units were on the shooting scene early today, along with some personnel wearing FBI jackets. Two police dogs were seen sniffing around a building marked the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.
About 20 police vehicles with lights flashing were seen along Vassar Street, which was cordoned off with yellow crime-scene tape. A police boat with lights flashing was patrolling the nearby Charles River, and a helicopter hovered over the campus.
The Cambridge Police Department issued a message of condolences through a posting on the Twitter social network.
“Our thoughts & prayers are with the officer’s family & our brothers & sisters at the #MIT Police,” the Cambridge police said.
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With assistance from Ted Bunker and Brian K. Sullivan in Boston and Douglas Lavanture in New York.