Residents lined Massachusetts streets Tuesday afternoon to pay their final respects to a police officer who was killed in the line of duty last week as his body was escorted to a church for his wake and funeral.
A vigil and visitation for Yarmouth K9 Officer Sean Gannon went from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at St. Pius X Roman Catholic church in Yarmouth following a police procession from the Doane, Beal and Ames Funeral Home on West Main Street in Hyannis. A police walkthrough took place at the funeral home at 5:15 p.m.
A funeral Mass is scheduled for Wednesday morning at St. Pius church, which will be followed by a private burial.
Both the wake and funeral are closed to the public, but the community was encouraged to line the streets as Gannon's hearse made its way from the funeral home to the church on Tuesday.
“All we can say is thanks,” said family friend Kathy Leavitt who attended the wake. “They go out every single day and risk their lives, and it’s scary.”
Around town there are blue ribbons up and flags as well as the community pays its respects...the Yarmouth PD providing 600 donated blue lights for people to place outside their homes.
“They’re the law, without them we’re all pretty helpless,” said Yarmouth resident Ken Lawson.
“Everyone was mournful but I think it’s a sense of community,” said Rachael George, who grew up on Cape Cod and was one of the countless people who lined the streets to honor Officer Gannon as his casket was moved from the funeral home to the church for Tuesday’s wake. “I think a lot of people were able to come together, it was incredible to see the outpouring of support.”
Officers have been keeping watch over Gannon's body around the clock and that will continue Tuesday night, even after the wake ends at 8 p.m. An Honor Guard will remain at the Church until the funeral Wednesday morning.
The 32-year-old Gannon was shot and killed last Thursday as 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 remembered in his obituary for his "high moral integrity, infectious humor, and collaborative work with colleagues."
Gannon's dog, Nero, also was shot in the incident, but underwent surgery and is recovering.
Twenty-nine-year-old Thomas Latanowich, who Gannon was trying to serve an arrest warrant after police said he wasn't home for a probation visit and failed to appear for a drug test, was ordered to be held without bail during his arraignment on a murder charge and one count of mistreating a police dog on Friday.