A man described by authorities as a violent career criminal was ordered held without bail Friday in connection with the shooting death of a Cape Cod police officer.
Thomas Latanowich, 29, whose last known address was in Somerville, was arraigned on a murder charge just before noon in Barnstable District Court. He hung his head throughout the appearance, speaking only to answer "yes" when the judge asked if he understood the proceedings.
A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf, and the judge said she would appoint a lawyer to represent him. He is scheduled to return to court on June 26 for a probable cause hearing.
More than a dozen uniformed police officers attended the hearing.
According to the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s office, 32-year-old officer Sean Gannon, a member of the K-9 unit at the Yarmouth Police Department, was serving a warrant Thursday afternoon at a home on Blueberry Lane in the Marstons Mills area of Barnstable when he was shot by Latanowich.
Gannon was taken to Cape Cod Hospital, where he later died. Gannon's police dog Nero was shot in the face and neck and is recovering after emergency surgery. Latanowich also faces a charge of mistreating a police dog.
District Attorney Michael O'Keefe said Latanowich was taken into custody after he barricaded himself in the home. A SWAT team and officers from multiple police departments had converged on the area.
Latanowich, who previously lived in West Yarmouth, has a lengthy criminal history.
When Latanowich was arrested in December of 2016 and charged in a non-fatal stabbing, Yarmouth police described him as a "notorious and violent criminal" with over 100 prior criminal charges in Massachusetts. Many of the charges were later dismissed.
O'Keefe said the last prison time Latanowich served was a four- to five-year sentence on gun charges. The prosecutor expressed frustration that prior charges had not resulted in more lengthy sentences.
Yarmouth Police Chief Fred Fredrickson spoke highly of Gannon and was devastated by the loss.
"I treat all of my officers like they are my own sons and daughters and to lose one is like losing my own," he said.