Gay police officer featured on Boston Marathon bombing Sports Illustrated cover

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An openly gay police officer of the Boston Police Department who was present during Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings, has been featured in an iconic image which has been used on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated magazine.

Javier Pagan, a Boston Police Department LGBT Liaison (pictured: far right), features alongside two other police officers assisting a fallen marathon runner after the explosions on Monday.

Almost 200 people have been injured, seventeen of which are reportedly in critical condition, and three were killed by the blasts from two pressure-cooker bombs which were set off near the finish line.

The bombs are believed to have been placed in black bags near the finish line, and consisted of two 6 litre pressure cookers, one with shards of metal and ball bearings, and the other containing nails.

No individual or group has accepted responsibility for the attack, however the Guardian reports that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, has said a “significant lead” had been obtained using CCTV footage. Officials have denied that they have a suspect in custody.

Javier Pagan joined the Boston police force in 1995, and is a member of the Gay Officers’ Action League (GOAL). He was the recipient of an Award for Excellence from Boston’s LGBT chamber of commerce in 2005.

His husband, Pedro, is a retired sergeant from the New York Police Department who was part of the rescue effort during and after the 9/11 bombings.

The image of the officers rushing into action immediately after the explosions, had already gone viral, and now is featured on the current issue of Sports Illustrated.

78-year-old Bill Iffrig of Lake Stevens, the runner in the picture, was blown over by the blast, and the photographer of the image, John Tlumacki, said the image was taken “probably one second after the explosion.”

The cover is intended as a tribute to all responders, and victims of the incident on Monday.

According to the BBC, President Barack Obama is heading to Boston to attend an interfaith memorial service for victims of the bombing.