MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.
A disassembled gun and $25,000 in cash were found hidden in the home where Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon was ambushed and fatally shot by career criminal Thomas Latanowich, according to new details in the case released by the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office.
Gannon, a 32-year-old K-9 officer, was fatally shot in April while attempting serving a warrant on Latanowich, a 29-year-old man with 125 prior criminal charges on his record.
The slaying sparked a wave of public mourning and a petition calling for stricter bail rules and tougher sentences for violent offenders, which has attracted over 50,000 signatures.
Latanowich, who has been charged with Gannon’s murder, was in violation of his probation when Gannon and another officer arrived at a home in Marstons Mills to serve his warrant.
Gannon, his K-9 partner Nero and another officer cleared the main areas of the house before entering an unfinished attic through a hole in a bedroom closet ceiling, the DA’s office said in a press release.
There, they found two backpacks — one containing a “large amount of drugs” and another containing clothing, according to the DA’s office.
The officers did not immediately find Latanowich and left the attic. But they found further evidence that someone was hiding there and reentered the attic with two additional officers to perform another search, the DA’s office said.
“They noticed a piece of insulation which when removed uncovered an opening into another section of attic created by an addition onto the house,” the DA’s office said. “Immediately upon removing the insulation Sgt. Gannon sustained a gunshot wound.”
Other officers pulled Gannon out of the attic, began to provide medical aid and withdrew to perimeter around the house as they waited for backup and EMTs. Gannon was taken to Cape Cod Hospital, where he was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound to the head.
Latanowich later surrendered and was arrested. Nero was also shot and was removed from the house for treatment.
As police searched the home in the following days, they allegedly found a semi-automatic handgun that had been broken down into its component parts and hidden in different areas of the house. Two live rounds of ammunition were found in a toilet and shell casings were found in the attic, the DA’s office said.
Police also found $25,000 hidden in a bedroom wall and $4,000 on Latanowich when he was booked.
More than 1,000 law enforcement personnel traveled to St. Pius X Catholic Church in South Yarmouth to pay tribute to Gannon at his funeral on April 18.
Gannon was posthumously promoted to sergeant.
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