Suspect who killed Yarmouth police officer had 111 prior offenses, K-9 partner in critical condition

Suspect who killed Yarmouth police officer had 111 prior offenses, K-9 partner in critical condition

The Yarmouth Police officer shot serving a warrant in Barnstable today has died and a man with last known address in Somerville will be charged with his murder.

Authorities said that the suspect accused of fatally shooting a Massachusetts police officer on Thursday had 111 prior adult offenses and was on probation while he was being served a warrant.

The Cape and Islands District Attorney’s office identified the suspect as 29-year-old Thomas Latanowich, who is due to be charged with murder. The deceased officer has been identified as 32-year-old Sean Gannon, an officer from the Yarmouth Police Department, Massachusetts State police reported.

The man with his last known address in Somerville will be charged with the murder of the Yarmouth Police officer who he shot while being served a warrant.

"With deep sorrow and heavy hearts, the Yarmouth Police Department reports the loss of Officer Sean Gannon. Officer Sean Gannon was killed in the line of duty today," read a statement posted on the Yarmouth Police Department Facebook page.

A police source told Fox 25 Boston that the K-9 officer died sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. The officer was serving the warrant in the town of Barnstable.

"We are also praying tonight for the recovery of Officer Gannon's K9 partner, who was also injured in today's tragic incident," state police said in a statement.

Gannon was assisted by his K-9 partner, Nero, who was also shot and is now being treated at a veterinary clinic.

Nero was taken to a clinic in Dennis, about 17 miles away from the scene where he was shot. 

“Nero is in stable condition at the hospital. Cape SWAT has an ER doc on the squad, and he treated the dog in the field and stabilized him well enough to get him to the hospital,” a veterinary at the clinic said.

The police said in another Facebook update that Latanowich had a long history of run-ins with law enforcement and was linked to 111 prior criminal charges.

Fox 25 Boston reported that the shooting happened at around 3:30 pm while the officer was serving a warrant accompanied by two state troopers.

Boston 25 reported that the officer was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The police swarmed the area, as SWAT officers took up positions around the house. Latanovich had barricaded himself in his house for hours before he finally surrendered to law enforcement authorities. 

Assistant District Attorney Tara L. Miltimore said in a statement that Latanowich will be arraigned tomorrow at First District Court in Barnstable.

"He will be charged with murder," she said. 

67-year-old neighbor John Machado and his wife, 66-year-old Jacqueline were told to leave the area by law enforcement authorities when they were arriving home at about 4 pm.

"We were just returning home, we were on an errand, when police were arriving at that point," John Machado said. "I was outside doing yard work when it all took place."

"Police told us to leave because it was dangerous, I was told to leave because it was a highly dangerous situation," Jacqueline Machado said. "The police were out with their cars and they had their guns."

Charlie Baker, the governor of Massachusetts, tweeted that he was "heartbroken" after hearing about the officer's death and conveyed his thoughts and prayers to Gannon's "family, loved ones and the @yarmouthpolice 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," he continued.

Police cruisers drove with their blue lights flashing as the fallen officer's body was transported from the hospital to the office of the medical examiner, reported the Boston Herald. Later, as a light rain overtook the Cape, Gannon's cruiser was accompanied by a caravan of flashing lights and blaring sirens as it was returned to the station. 

Both male and female officers of the department flanked the road on either side, standing according to rank.

"Present arms!" their commander shouted, and two dozen arms shot up in a hand salute as a flatbed tow truck steered between the formations. Lashed to the truck's behind was the slain officer's cruiser. 

After the cruiser passed, the commander solemnly ordered the ranks at ease and then dismissed them. Officers dispersed "beneath a flag flying a half-staff, and rain that was pouring down" masking the tears of Gannon's colleagues, many of whom stood in solidarity.

"With a heavy heart,  our condolences go out tonight to our brothers & sisters of the Yarmouth Police & to Officer Sean Gannon's family & friends. We are also praying tonight for the recovery of Officer Gannon's K9 partner, who was also injured in today's tragic incident," said the Massachusetts State Police in a statement posted to Twitter.

The Arlington Police Department expressed its condolences: "Rest In Peace K9 Officer Sean Gannon. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the entire Cape Cod law enforcement community, as well as Officer Gannon's family and friends. We are with you." 

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