The suspect who police say fatally shot a Yarmouth officer is expected to be arraigned on Friday.
Police say Thomas Lantanowich, of Somerville, was barricaded inside of a house in the Marstons Mills Village of Barnstable on Thursday afternoon when he shot Yarmouth police officer, Sean Gannon, as he was serving a warrant.
According to police, the shootout began around 3 p.m. and officer Gannon was hit, along with his K9. Gannon was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital where was later pronounced dead.
The Yarmouth Police Department confirms with Western Mass News that the K9 has not died, and is still being treated in an animal hospital for "serious injuries."
Gannon was 32 years-old and had been an officer for 8 years, eventually becoming the department’s first full-time drug detection K9 officer.
The chief of Yarmouth police spoke after Gannon’s death. He, like many, continues to mourn the loss of a good man.
"I hope that everyone out there appreciates the work that police officers across the country do every day, every day and to become the victim of a violent crime like this is just intolerable," Chief Frank Frederickson, said. "Sean was a wonderful, wonderful, young man. And I'm not just saying that."
After officer Gannon’s death was announced, his body was transported to the Medical Examiner’s office in Boston with a police cruiser escort from several surrounding towns.
Police here in western Mass are also paying their respects, releasing statements that read in part:
Agawam Police Department: "Our thoughts & prayers go out to his family and also to his brothers & sisters in blue at Yarmouth PD."
Chicopee Police Department: “Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to our brothers and sisters of the Yarmouth Police Dept. as they mourn the loss of their K9 Officer.”
Easthampton Police Department: “Rest in Peace sir, we have the watch from here.”
Hampden Police Department: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Yarmouth Police Department as they lost a fine officer in another senseless shoot [ing]."
Massachusetts State Police: “With a heavy heart, our condolences go out tonight to our brothers and sisters of the Yarmouth Police Dept. and to Officer Sean Gannon's family and friends. We are also praying tonight for the recovery of Officer Gannon's K9 partner, who reportedly was also injured in today's tragic incident."
Northampton Police Department: "We are sad to report the loss of Officer Sean Gannon. We thank him for his years of service and commitment to his community."
Palmer Police Department: "Our thoughts and prayers to the Yarmouth Police Department, the Yarmouth Community, the Barnstable Police Department, and most of all the family of the Officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty today."
Southwick Police Department: “The Southwick Police Department would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Ofc. Gannon and the Yarmouth PD. May he Rest In Eternal Peace.”
Sturbridge Police Department: "Our agency would like to extend its deepest condolences to those effected by this tragedy today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and to his brothers and sisters in blue. Rest easy sir."
Gannon was also once a student at Westfield State University. The university’s public safety department says they, too, are mourning the loss of officer Gannon and the school's president, Ramon S. Torrecilha, released this statement Friday morning:
"We were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Westfield State alumnus Officer Sean Gannon. Our sincere condolences to his wife, extended family, Yarmouth Police Department, and the many Westfield State University alumni and citizens of Massachusetts whom Sean positively impacted during his time here at Westfield State and his career in law enforcement. Our faculty and staff are privileged to have had a role in preparing Officer Gannon for his service-focused career that tragically came to an end yesterday."
It has been nearly two years since the last time a police officer was killed in the line of duty in the state. That was Auburn Police officer, Ronald Tarantino, who was shot and killed in May of 2016 during a traffic stop.
As it relates to Lantanowich, he was later arrested after an hours long standoff with police. The mugshot provided in this story is from a previous incident, of which police say they’ve had many, in 2016.
Lantanowich is expected to be arraigned at the First District Court of Barnstable, and police say he is being charged with murder.
Western Mass News will provide updates to this as more information becomes available.
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