BARNSTABLE, Mass. (WPRI) — The fate of the man accused of shooting and killing a Yarmouth police sergeant three years ago is now in the hands of the jury.
Thomas Latanowich is facing a slew of charges, including first-degree murder, in the death of Sergeant Sean Gannon.
Gannon, alongside his K-9 partner Nero, was serving a search warrant at the Barnstable home where Latanowich was hiding when he was shot and killed. Nero was also injured, but has since made a full recovery.
Jurors in Barnstable Superior Court spent Tuesday morning listening to both the prosecution and defense lay out their final arguments as to what exactly happened that day.
Latanowich’s attorney, Joseph Krowski Jr., argued his client did not know he was shooting at police and was acting in self defense.
Krowski Jr. referenced Latanowich’s testimony, where he explained he’d had a run-in with someone he thought was trying to kill him, and that’s who he thought was after him that day.
He also tried to discredit testimony from other officers involved and put the blame for Gannon’s death on how the operation was carried out.
“The death of Officer Sean Gannon was an avoidable tragedy, the byproduct of an inept, incompetent, rudderless so-called police operation,” Krowski Jr. said.
But Prosecutor Michael Trudeau reminded jurors that Latanowich did know police were there, referencing several voice and text messages he sent to family members before and after the shooting.
Minutes after shooting Gannon, Trudeau said Latanowich sent a message that read, “I just shot a cop.”
“Do not fall prey to manufactured falsehoods, keep your eye on the ball,” Trudeau told the jurors. “This case is not a debate of police policy and procedure, this case is about the murder of Officer Sean Gannon and the shooting of K-9 Nero.”
“You have been presented with a chain of compelling, overwhelming evidence of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” he continued. “The lock that secures that chain is your common sense and again, don’t be afraid to use it, and remember, this is the search for truth.”