WEST YARMOUTH (CBS) — Hundreds of mourners turned out for a vigil honoring slain Yarmouth Police Officer Sean Gannon Saturday night.
They lit candles, sobbed and stood in solidarity with law enforcement and with Gannon’s family and friends during the 7 p.m. ceremony at the Yarmouth Police Department headquarters’ 9/11 memorial.
They were there to pay tribute to the 32-year-old Gannon, who was killed in the line of duty on Thursday.
Gannon was fatally shot in the head while carrying out an arrest warrant Thursday afternoon.
“We ask you now to be with all of us as we mourn the loss of our friend Sean. We thank you for all that he was to all who knew him and loved him,” said Rev. Charles Soule.
Law enforcement officers joined ordinary citizens in tribute, making a promise to the fallen officer’s family.
“You are not alone. We love you and we are here for you, and we will never ever go away,” Rep. Tim Whelan, a retired state police sergeant, said while addressing the crowd.
Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson said the eight-year veteran, who had a promising future, was like a son to him.
“I can tell you the hurt is within me. I’m the chief right now, but I’m crushed inside,” Frederickson told the crowd.
Then, the police chief made a passionate plea to the hundreds of people in the crowd.
“Pay attention everybody! Share your voices! Help us! I don’t want to see this happen to anybody ever again!” he shouted.
Gannon’s police dog, Nero, was also shot and is recovering from surgery.
By night’s end, those who came to the vigil searched for consolation.
“The community’s in shock. I think that just such a terrible tragedy, but also it’s hopeful to see so many people here,” one woman said.
“This should show people what the police mean to everybody in this community,” one man said.
Gannon was the department’s first full-time drug detection K-9 patrol officer. He started his career working at Stonehill College in 2006.
Prosecutors say Thomas Latanowich, 29, of Somerville fatally shot Gannon in the head as the K-9 officer served a search warrant in the Marstons Mills village of Barnstable on Thursday.
He was held without bail after pleading not guilty.
Yarmouth Police described Latanowich back in 2016 as “a notorious and violent criminal with 111 prior criminal charges.”
The Massachusetts Probation Service told WBZ that Latanowich was most recently released from jail on June 26, 2014 and his five-year probation period was scheduled to end on Nov. 1, 2018.