Slain Yarmouth Police Officer Honored by Hundreds at Saturday Vigil

YARMOUTH – It was an emotional outpouring of support Saturday night as the community mourned the fatal shooting of Yarmouth Police Officer Sean Gannon.

Hundreds gathered at Yarmouth police headquarters in front of their 9-1-1 Memorial Park to remember the young officer whose life was taken Thursday, allegedly by a career criminal.

Chief Frank Frederickson said the hurt is still within him.

“I’m crushed inside. Sean was entrusted to me,” he said.

While the chief said everyone was trying to find reason in all of this, he vowed “to be there for all of you.”

In heart-wrenching moment, the chief talked his early-morning run on Saturday when the roads were clear and he was left to himself.

Frederickson said he found himself crying and wailing.

“The people he touched and made their lives better is endless,” the chief said.

Frederickson also said it was time for the Legislature to get serious about criminal justice reform so something like this never happens again.

First Barnstable State Representative Tim Whelan, a former State Police trooper who worked with Gannon, said he was proud to have known him.

“We’re here to join together as a community, as Cape Cod, join together as law enforcement, proud first responders. We join together in love and unity to know that you are not alone,” he said.

“We will never, ever, go away. We will always be here for you,” said Whelan.

“It’s very difficult to find the right words. We have feelings and anger,” said Yarmouth Selectmen Chair Tracy Post.

But she promised that everyone would move forward.

“Our community light will not be dimmed. We are here and we are supportive,” she said.

Congressman William Keating called Gannon a “giver” who helped young children, gave with K-9 Nero, who also shot, and gave as a Big Brother.

“We lost one of our finest,” Keating said.

He said Sean was someone that we should all aspire to be. “Learn from his life, learn from a giver who gave all that he had,” Keating said.

“Words bring little solace in this moment where the pain and anger and loss is so great,” said Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr.

“We will now hold you as you hold us. You’re sacrifice is so much,” he said.

Second Barnstable State Representative Will Crocker thanked Gannon’s parents for their son, calling the shooting an unspeakable tragedy.

“Sean Gannon put his life on the line for this community. It was a selfless act,” he said.

“Right now is the time grieving and remembering and honoring,” said Crocker.

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

Gannon and other officers arrived at 109 Blueberry Lane around 2:30 p.m. Thursday 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.

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

A wake for Gannon will be held on Tuesday at St. Pius X Church in Yarmouth. Funeral services will take place on Wednesday, also at St. Pius.

Yarmouth Police issued a statement on Saturday saying they would no longer refer to the alleged shooter by his name.

Below is that statement:

We would like all of our supporters to know that we are resilient and we stand strong, proud, and committed and nothing will ever keep us down or stop us from serving and protecting the people of our community…and each other.

The name of person who attacked our beloved Police Officer Sean Gannon, and our innocent Police dog K9 Nero, will never be uttered in our building or in any of our Media Releases or Facebook posts.

We only refer to him as 125…which stands for the number of prior criminal charges he has on his Board of Probation criminal record in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Criminal Justice System has let us down and failed to protect our community and our Yarmouth Police Department.

Our organization is pushing forward as we have broken families to support—a community who loves us—and coward known as 125 behind bars who has earned the death penalty.

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