‘Tremendous Loss': Cape Cod Community Mourns Slain K9 Sgt.

What to Know

  • Yarmouth K9 Sgt. Sean Gannon was fatally shot April 12 while serving an arrest warrant at a home in Barnstable.
  • Thirty-two-year-old Gannon was an 8-year veteran of the police department.
  • Gannon's funeral was at 11 a.m. at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Yarmouth, and was followed by a private burial.

Thousands of people paid their final respects Wednesday to a Massachusetts police sergeant who was killed in the line of duty last week.

The funeral for Yarmouth K9 Sgt. Sean Gannon took place at St. Pius X Church in Yarmouth, which was followed by a private burial as his flag-draped casket was carried from the church. Gannon was posthumously promoted from officer to sergeant, the Yarmouth Police Department announced on Wednesday.

"We give him back to you without a murmur, but our hearts are wrung with sorrow," the Rev. Paul Caron said during a short service without a eulogy.

Thousands of mourners, including an estimated 1,000 police officers and firefighters from departments around the country, lined the streets Tuesday as Gannon's hearse was taken from the funeral home to the church for a vigil and wake.

A police procession took place on Wednesday leading to Gannon's funeral, and included police departments from around New England and as far away as Chicago.

Hamden, Connecticut, police officer Mark Sheppard said attending Wednesday's funeral is part of being in the brotherhood.

"It's not something we look forward to, but it's something we have to do," he said.

Dudley Police Chief Steve Wojnar, who was also in attendance, called Gannon's death "a tremendous loss not only for his family, but the department and entire community."

Gail McCarthy, a Yarmouth resident who knew Gannon, said she would remember his kindness and joy.

"Very, very sweet man, sweet and kind - and, oh, he had that big smile on him," she said.

Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson said he was grateful for the outpouring of public support for his officer.

"It just solidifies the fact that they care for us, they really do. And I believe that that’s the majority of people and it felt good. It solidified the fact that I have to keep working for them, our officers have to keep working for them and we’re going to keep doing that," Frederickson said Tuesday evening.

Charmane Williams, another Yarmouth resident, was outside of the funeral to pay her own respects to Gannon.

"I think the community and everybody needs to really stand up with the family," she said.

Gannon, 32, was fatally shot last Thursday as he and other officers were serving an arrest warrant at a home in Barnstable.

Around town, blue ribbons up and flags were displayed in Gannon's honor. The Yarmouth Police Department has also provided 600 donated blue lights for people to place outside their homes in Gannon's memory.

"Everyone was mournful but I think it’s a sense of community," said Rachael George, who grew up on Cape Cod and was one of the countless people who lined the streets as Gannon's hearse made its way to the funeral home. "I think a lot of people were able to come together, it was incredible to see the outpouring of support."

Among those who attended Gannon's wake were Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, state Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, according to the Cape Cod Times.

Gannon, who was married, was an 8-year veteran of the department and was remembered in his obituary for his "high moral integrity, infectious humor, and collaborative work with colleagues."

His dog, Nero, who was also was shot in the incident, underwent surgery and had been recovering at a veterinary hospital. Wednesday night, the same day that his handler was laid to rest, Nero left the hospital and was taken home in Gannon's police cruiser. Nero will not return to police work, but will live with Gannon's wife.

The shooting suspect, 29-year-old Thomas Latanowich, was ordered to be held without bail during his arraignment on a murder charge and one count of mistreating a police dog on Friday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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