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Career criminal with more than 110 prior charges accused of killing police officer

Yarmouth K9 Officer Sean Gannon was shot and killed while serving an arrest warrant. His partner, Nero, was also injured and underwent emergency surgery on Friday. (Image source: Boston Globe video screenshot)

A career criminal pleaded not guilty Friday to the killing of Yarmouth Police Officer Sean Gannon in Massachusetts, WBZ-TV reported.

Police charged Thomas M. Latanowich, 29, with murder in the shooting death of K9 Officer Sean Gannon in Marston Mills Village of Barnstable. The suspect also allegedly shot Gannon's K9 partner, Nero.

In 2016, Yarmouth police described Latanovich as “a notorious and violent criminal with 111 prior criminal charges.”

On Friday, officers filled the Barnstable District Courtroom for Latanowich's arraignment. The suspect kept his head down during the brief hearing, according to WBZ.

What happened?

On Thursday, at about 3:30 p.m., Latanowich allegedly shot Gannon while he and other officers were serving an arrest warrant for a probation violation, officials said.

Officers arrested the suspect following a lengthy standoff with police.

What do we know about the suspect?

On April 4, the suspect was not home for a scheduled home visit and failed to appear April 5 for his drug test. The following day, the court issued a warrant for his arrest.

“His last sentence from us was a 4 to 5 state prison for a variety of gun charges," Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe said, the Boston Herald reported. "He had a probationary sentence after that. The reason that there was an outstanding warrant for him was that he violated his probation, which was transferred from the Barnstable Superior Court up to Middlesex County and the Middlesex Superior Court issued the warrant that was the subject of yesterday’s apprehension.”

His five-year probation was set to expire Nov. 1.

What about Officer Gannon?

Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson described Gannon, 32, as a “remarkable young man," the Boston Herald reported.

“We refer to him as the Tom Brady of the Yarmouth Police Department, and he’s gone. He died doing what he loved. And we have a devastated community, family and police department,” Frederickson said.

Gannon was an eight-year veteran of the force.

"We're going to miss him terribly; our department is going to miss him terribly," Frederickson said. "Sean was a wonderful, wonderful young man and I'm not just saying that. The sky was the limit for him."

Others expressed their sympathies following the sad news.

"Sean Gannon was a man of honor, hard worker, and his reputation was absolutely impeccable. The world is a lesser place without him in it," Rep. Tim Whelan (R), a retired state trooper, told WBZ.

What about Gannon's K9 partner?

Nero was seriously injured by gunshot wounds to his face and neck during the incident. He underwent emergency surgery Friday morning.

"K9 Nero has survived emergency surgery and is being treated and taken care of by the best medical staff in New England at a location here on Cape Cod," authorities said in a statement.

The veterinary clinic caring for Nero told Mass Live that the dog was "stable, but not out of the woods."

Retired K9 Officer Peter Mclelland has remained by the dog's side since the shooting.

What else?

Latanowich remains held at Barnstable District Court without bail. He is expected back in court on June 26.

One last thing…
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