MBTA officer shot, wounded by Boston bomb suspects a VMI grad - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

MBTA officer shot, wounded by Boston bomb suspects a VMI grad

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UPDATE:

Officer Donohue's VMI friends have started an online fundraising page to help his family.  It's raised thousands of dollars so far. If you'd like to donate you can here.

The Williamson Road Area Business Association honored him Saturday during the first VMI Day opening ceremonies in Roanoke. There was a moment of silence and flags were at half staff to remember all of those in Boston.

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The transit officer shot and wounded during Friday morning's gunfight between police and the Boston Marathon bombing suspects has ties to our area and is being remembered.

VMI has confirmed that 33-year-old Richard Donohue is a 2002 graduate, who majored in history.

Police say Donohue was injured as police chased 19-year-old Dzhokahr Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev through Watertown, Massachusetts overnight, shot and killed an officer at MIT, and carjacked an SUV.

Officials say the pair fired at officers and threw explosives out the window.

During a news conference Friday morning, authorities said Donohue was in surgery at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge.

VMI cadets signed a school flag for Donohue Friday.  The Williamson Road Area Business Association will honor him Saturday during the first VMI Day opening ceremonies in Roanoke.

Jake Copty, a Roanoke real estate agent, graduated VMI with Donohue and says the two still stay in touch.

"He was an extraordinarily funny, fun person with a lot of positive attributes" said Copty. "He is good at what he does and takes that very seriously."

Copty says after the two graduated from VMI in 2002, Donohue went into the Navy and then joined the Boston Transit police where he's been for about three years.

Copty says they two have a lot of mutual friends who are in the Boston area.

"[He] represents the best of what VMI has to offer" said Copty.

"It's not surprising that he would put himself in a career that would place him in harm's way. Our hearts go out to his family. We really pray for his speedy recovery" said Stewart MacInnis, a spokesman for VMI who says Donohue was a history major and in the Naval ROTC.

MacInnis says all students are taught to be "civil servants".

"This is the VMI character and that's what he's showing" said MacInnis.

Well wishes are coming from all over the world, including some Virginia politicians.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with VMI grad MBTA officer Richard Donohue, injured this morning in Watertown" tweeted Gov. Bob McDonnell.

"Rooting for recovery of injured Boston transit officer Richard Donohue" tweeted Senator Mark Warner.

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