BARNSTABLE, Mass. (WPRI) — Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe released details Thursday about the shooting that left a K-9 officer dead in Barnstable last month.
O’Keefe said New Bedford native Sean Gannon, 32, and his K-9 Nero were among the officers responding to a home on Blueberry Lane in Marstons Mills.
Upon Gannon’s arrival, he joined six other officers from Barnstable, Yarmouth and Massachusetts State Police. The officers were attempting to serve an arrest warrant for 29-year-old Thomas Latanowich.
According to O’Keefe, Latanowich was wanted on a probation violation issued from Middlesex County Superior Court.
O’Keefe said after clearing the house, Gannon, K-9 Nero, and another officer entered the unfinished attic through a hole in the ceiling of a bedroom closet. They then searched the immediate area and found two backpacks, one full of drugs and the other full of clothing.
The officers then left the attic after finding no one there. Soon after, O’Keefe said they found more evidence that someone was in the attic, so they went back to search the attic again.
While sweeping the attic a second time, they noticed a piece of insulation that when removed, opened up another section of the attic.
According to O’Keefe, as soon as Gannon removed the insulation, he sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Officers then pulled Gannon down through the opening in the closet ceiling and began to attend to him.
All officers then withdrew from the house and reinforced the perimeter until EMTs and additional officers arrived for assistance.
Gannon was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital, where he later died. Police said Gannon’s K-9 Nero was also injured in the incident and was rushed to a veterinary hospital.
After a long standoff, Latanowich eventually surrendered and was taken into custody.
Throughout the next several days, O’Keefe said police searched the property. Hidden in the house, officers found a semi-automatic handgun broken down into several pieces, two live rounds in the toilet and shell casings in the attic. He said they also found $25,000 cash hidden in a wall in a bedroom and $4,000 cash on Latanowich’s person as he was taken into custody.
Latanowich has been charged with first-degree murder and one count of mistreating a police dog.
There has been an outpouring of support from the community following Gannon’s death. Thousands attended Gannon’s funeral last month. Gannon was also posthumously promoted to rank of sergeant the same day he was laid to rest.