Latanowich Pleads Not Guilty to Yarmouth Officer’s Slaying

BARNSTABLE – The man accused of killing Yarmouth Police Officer Sean Gannon was arraigned at Barnstable District Court Friday.

Thomas Latanowich, 29, pleaded not guilty to Gannon’s murder. He was ordered held without bail and will next appear in court in June 26

In a show of force and solidarity, the courtroom and Barnstable County complex were packed with police officers, many from Yarmouth.

Speaking outside the courthouse following the arraignment, Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson described seeing the suspect accused of murdering one of his officers as a “disturbing” experience.

“They needed to see [the arraignment],” Frederickson said of his officers in attendance. “They needed to let [Latanowich] know that we are here.”

Frederickson, again visibly shaken by the death of his colleague, said Gannon was an amazing officer.

“He died doing what he loved, and he is going to be so sorely missed,” Frederickson said. “We have a devastated community, family, and police department.”

“Sean was a wonderful, wonderful young man, and I’m not just saying that. The sky was the limit for him. I’m going to miss him terribly. The department is going to miss him terribly,” Frederickson said in his initial remarks at a press conference Thursday night.

Outside the courthouse, Frederickson thanked the public for the outpouring of support in the last day.

“It really does help comfort us, everything that is done, whether it’s a card that has been sent to us or the 64 pizzas that were dropped off last night. It’s all helpful.”

Gannon and other officers arrived at 109 Blueberry Lane around 2:30 where they were seeking Latanowich, a known career criminal to Cape Cod law enforcement.

At some point, Latanowich allegedly opened fire, fatally wounding Gannon.

Over the next two hours, the neighborhood was swarmed by law enforcement, including the regional SWAT team.

Latanowich was eventually taken into custody.

His last known address was in Somerville.

Court documents made available Friday shed more light on Latanowich’s lengthy criminal history.

He had 38 previous cases in Barnstable District Court alone, many of which were dismissed.

The first case involving Latanowich dates back to 2005 when he was arrested for negligent operation of a motor vehicle, one of numerous motor vehicle charges he has faced over the years.

According to the records, Latanowich has faced nine assault-related cases, six of which involved dangerous weapons. He had at least three firearms related offenses and one charge of armed robbery.

He also had five drug related cases.

Gannon was a K-9 officer with the Yarmouth Police Department.

Before joining the force in Yarmouth, Gannon work as an intermittent officer on Nantucket and served in the Stonehill College Police Department.

He graduated from the MBTA Municipal Policy Academy and obtained a Masters of Science in emergency management from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He received an undergraduate degree from Westfield State University.

“We feel for his family, particularly his wife, Dara, and his brothers, sisters, in-laws. We feel for our police family here at Yarmouth P-D, as well as our brothers and sisters across the Cape, particularly at Barnstable Police and State Police,” said Frederickson.

“We feel for our community, which is impacted by this,” he said.

The man accused in the murder, Latanowich, has a long criminal record with more than 100 previous offenses.

He was arrested in an alleged stabbing attack in Yarmouth in late 2016, among his many previous arrests.

The nature of the warrant being served on him Thursday was not immediately clear.

Governor Charlie Baker ordered all flags at half-staff across the Commonwealth until further notice.

Gannon’s body was transported to the state medical examiner’s office in Pocasset from Cape Cod Hospital Thursday night with a full police escort.

“We plan to keep Sean’s memory alive,” said Frederickson.

“I’m disgusted with what was dealt to Officer Gannon,” the chief said.

K9 Nero, who was with Gannon, remains alive. The dog has survived emergency surgery and is being treated and taken care of by medical staff at a location here on Cape Cod.

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy issued the following statement following Gannon’s death:

“On behalf of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy community, we want to express our sincere and deepest sympathy to Officer Sean Gannon’s family, along with the men and women of the Yarmouth Police Department…. as they deal with the tragic loss of one of their own – Officer Sean Gannon. As a graduate of MMA’s Emergency Management Master’s program, Sean distinguished himself…. both in the classroom, and among his fellow classmates, We are proud to call Office Gannon one of our own, and our thoughts are with his family, fellow officers, and MMA classmates.”

Admiral Francis X. Mc Donald, President, Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Governor Chalie Baker issued the following statement on Twitter Thursday night:

Heartbroken to learn of the passing of Officer Gannon & my thoughts and prayers are with his family, loved ones and the after this tragic loss. MA is blessed to have courageous men & women who put their lives on the line to protect our communities every day.

Statement fromBishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., of the Fall River Diocese:

“Like so many, I am stunned and deeply saddened by the tragic death yesterday of Yarmouth Police Officer Sean Gannon. I think it makes all of us pause to consider the dangers inherent in the daily work of those in law enforcement and public safety.

“I ask members of the Catholic community across the Fall River Diocese to pray with me for the peaceful repose of Officer Gannon and for strength and comfort for his family in their heartbreaking loss. I extend my personal condolences to them. Officer Gannon’s mother and father, Denise and Patrick Gannon, are known to many throughout the Diocese from their longtime service as pastoral musicians. I hope that they find some solace in knowing that their many friends among our priests and lay faithful share their sorrow and embrace them in thought and prayer.

“It is important also to keep in mind members of the Yarmouth Police Department who are grieving the violent loss of a colleague. They have our prayerful support at this difficult time and an assurance of our continued gratitude for their dedicated service.”

Click below to readLatanowich’s lengthy record from Barnstable District Court:

A GoFundMe page has been setup for Officer Gannon. To donate, click the button below.

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