YARMOUTH (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts is paying its final respects to a police officer who was killed in the line of duty.
A wake for Yarmouth K-9 Officer Sean Gannon was held Tuesday evening at St. Pius X Roman Catholic church on Barbara Street in Yarmouth. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the church. The funeral Mass will be followed by a private burial.
Yarmouth Police Lt. Kevin Lennon told WBZ-TV, “Sean was an amazing individual and he will be deeply missed. It’s important for people to know that we need to remember him and we need to honor him and coming out to help us today and tomorrow.”
Members of the community, wearing blue, lined Route 28 Tuesday afternoon as police escorted Gannon from the funeral home in Hyannis to the Yarmouth church. Thousands of officers from around the country were there for a walk-by and a moment of silence.
The officers streamed into the church to the sound of bagpipes and drums. To start off the wake services, K-9 officers led the way.
There will be another procession along Route 28 on Wednesday for the funeral.
The 32-year-old Gannon was shot and killed last Thursday while he and other officers were serving an arrest warrant at a home in Barnstable.
Gannon, who was married, was an 8-year veteran of the department. He was also the department’s first full-time drug detection K-9 patrol officer.
He was remembered in his obituary for his “high moral integrity, infectious humor, and collaborative work with colleagues.”
Hundreds of mourners joined law enforcement at a vigil for Gannon Saturday. “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.
Lennon said, “Since Sean’s passing, people have been coming been in, dropping off cards, we’ve received calls from all over the country, we have police officers coming in from all part of the country to help us celebrate Sean’s life and it means a lot to us.”
He expects between 3,000-4,000 officers will participate in the wake and funeral processions.
Gannon’s dog, Nero, also was shot but underwent surgery and is recovering. Yarmouth Police posted Sunday morning that their “four-legged hero” is “back on his feet… fighting back and standing strong.”
Lennon said, “He’s a very strong dog, I’m sure he has a lot of Sean’s spirit in him and he’s doing well.”
A police officer has been at Nero’s side since he was injured and someone will always be there for him until he is fully recovered, Lennon said.
Police say Gannon was shot and killed by Tom Latanowich, who has a criminal record that includes more than 100 previous charges.
Latanowich, who is 29, is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to a murder charge in Barnstable District Court. The courtroom was crowded with police officers watching his arraignment.
Yarmouth Police have created a memorial fund in Gannon’s honor.