STONEHAM, Mass. — Flags at half-staff, a police caravan leading a hearse and the Patriot Guard Riders lining Main Street in Red, White and Blue.
A long, almost silent trail of mourners waiting to enter a local funeral home and a row of TV news trucks.
Bystanders and passersby no longer have to ask, “What happened?” “What’s going on?”
It’s a scene that’s become all too familiar – Sunday in Medford, Monday in Stoneham and at Boston University and soon in Dorchester.
On Monday in Stoneham, police paid respects to one of their own, 27-year-old Sean Collier, an officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was shot and killed Thursday night in his police car.
Hundreds of others also attended the wake for Collier, a Wilmington native and Somerville resident, at the Anderson-Bryant Funeral Home on Common Street. The wake was private. A public memorial ceremony is scheduled for noon Wednesday, April 24, at MIT’s Briggs Field (270 Vassar St., Cambridge).
Collier’s death led to the manhunt for the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, one of whom was killed in Watertown. The other was captured hiding in a boat behind a home there and was recently charged. Police believe the suspects, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, respectively, killed Collier before fleeing.
The bombing at the marathon killed three more, 29-year-old Medford native Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, a 23-year-old BU graduate student from China, and 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, and injured nearly 200 others.
More than 1,000 locals remembered Collier, a 2004 Wilmington High School graduate, Saturday night in a vigil at Wilmington Town Common. At the vigil, Collier’s brother, Andrew, asked residents to keep Collier in their hearts.
“Sean will continue to live on and his legacy will continue to live on,” he said.