Fallen Yarmouth Police Officer Eulogized as ‘True Christian Gentleman’

YARMOUTH – A community of law enforcement from around the nation and hundreds of people from Cape Cod and beyond crowded into a Yarmouth church Wednesday for the final farewell to a hero police officer who was fatally shot in the line of duty.

Officer Sean Gannon, 32, who was posthumously promoted to Sergeant by Yarmouth Police earlier in the day, was killed last week while serving a warrant in Marstons Mills.

As columns of police officers stood in formation along Station Avenue, friends, family and the state’s top leaders gathered for funeral services at St. Pius X Church.

Gannon’s pastor, Father Paul Caron, delivered an emotional and personal eulogy, remembering when Gannon showed up in uniform last year to welcome Caron to the parish.

He called him a “true Christian gentleman.”

“We come together and mourn his death, but we also give thanks that he lived, that we came to know him on some level,” said Father Caron.

The pastor said God was with Sean when he was fatally shot and sped him in His arms.

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karen Polito, Attorney General Maura Healey and House Speaker Bob DeLeo were among dignitaries attending.

Local officials included the Yarmouth Board of Selectmen, members of the Cape’s legislative delegation, Congressman William Keating and Barnstable County Sheriff Jim Cummings.

Caron urged the congregation to not let their grief destroy them.

“That smile, that greeting, that life and love are now separated from us. And it hurts so much. But if we dwell only on that, our lives shared with Sean would devolve into some meaningless hate and hurt,” he said.

Caron cited the Gospel according to Matthew in explaining how Gannon was a true and compassionate person.

“When we see the word righteousness, it means doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do and not expecting a reward. That is the call to sainthood. That was how Sean lived his entire life,” Caron said.

Fall River Bishop Edgar da Cunha, who co-celebrated the Mass, said that he knew no words would take away the pain, but hoped the community’s collective prayers “would bring a measure of consolation” to the family.

“May the memories of Sean’s life and all that he did to help other people, may the knowledge that he loved what he did bring you some sort of consolation and hope,” said da Cunha.

On Tuesday night, Gannon’s wake attracted thousands to St. Pius, with people trying to comprehend the senseless tragedy that took the young life of a rising member of the Cape Cod law enforcement community.

Gannon’s K-9 unit, Nero, was also shot in the ambush, and is recovering at a local animal hospital. The dog is expected to return to the Gannon family when he fully recovers.

Following the Mass, dozens of K-9 officers lined Higgins Crowell Road as the funeral procession traveled to a private burial service.

Yarmouth Police issued the following statement prior to the funeral Mass on Wednesday.

”Sergeant Gannon leaves a legacy of high moral integrity, infectious humor, and collaborative work with colleagues. He enjoyed travel, working with his hands, volunteering his time to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod and the Islands and being outside.

He loved spending time with his family and friends.

Sean was deeply intuitive and inspired others to be their best selves.

Sean leaves his wife, Dara (Bryan), his parents, Patrick and Denise, his siblings, Timothy and his fiancée Mary, Martha and her husband Derrick, his ‘Little Brother’ Riley and his mother Nicole, his in-laws Kathy and Dean Bryan, and their son Ross, along with many loving relatives and friends.

Whatever Sean did, he gave 100% of himself.

He will be profoundly missed by his family, colleagues, and friends.

The family deeply appreciates the incredible outpouring of local and national messages of support and condolences.

The family particularly wishes to recognize the outstanding presence of the Yarmouth Police Department during this difficult ordeal.

Heroes Live Forever…”

Thomas Latanowich, 29, is accused of firing the fatal shot at a home on Blueberry Lane. He is a career criminal well known to law enforcement who has 125 criminal violations on his record.

At a vigil on Saturday night at Yarmouth Police headquarters, Chief Frank Frederickson gave a passionate plea for lawmakers to immediately reform the criminal justice system.

Among Latanowich’s prior criminal convictions and charges were gun and drug violations.

“Police officers that I know, in our department, we do our job. We do our job. Tonight, when somebody calls us, we are on the street,” he said during a vigil on Monday night in Yarmouth.

He said he had to “triage” his department to see what was left and get people back to where they should be.

“I’m going to make it a point to make the people that should be doing their job, to do their job,” referring to the need for lawmakers to take action.

By MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com News Director

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