A Massachusetts police chief who recently lost one of his officers in a fatal shooting is expressing his anger one day after a suspect who was recently released on bail allegedly shot and killed a Maine sheriff's deputy.
"Here again is an example of the system failing police officers and failing the general public," Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson told the Boston Herald Wednesday.
Frederickson's department lost K9 officer Sgt. Sean Gannon two weeks ago when Thomas Latanowich, 29, fatally shot Gannon when he went to serve an arrest warrant at a home in Barnstable.
Latanowich, a career criminal with 125 prior charges in Massachusetts, continues to be held without bail on a murder charge and a count of mistreating a police dog.
On Wednesday, a manhunt began in Maine for 29-year-old John Williams, who police said gunned down a Somerset County sheriff's deputy in "a senseless act".
Sheriff's Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole was gunned down between 1 and 2 a.m. on Route 2 in Norridgewock, about 60 miles west of Bangor. Williams then allegedly stole Cole's marked cruiser and robbed a Cumberland Farms store on Waterville Road before fleeing the store in Cole's stolen cruiser. Williams remains on the loose and a massive manhunt is now underway.
Like Latanowich, Williams also has a rap sheet.
In addition to prior charges in Maine and Tennessee, he was arrested March 22 on multiple firearms charges and traffic violations in Haverhill, Massachusetts, after he apparently drove off Interstate 495 and into a ditch. He was found with a 9mm handgun and a 16-round magazine after he told the police that he dozed off while driving.
Prosecutors requested $10,000 bail, but a judge set it at $7,500 and it was later reduced by another judge to $5,000. Williams posted bail on March 31 and was due to return to court in Massachusetts for a probable cause hearing Wednesday.
"We've become complacent. We've just accepted it isn't going to change," Frederickson told the Herald.
The shooting in Maine happened just hours after a Dallas police officer was fatally shot by an alleged shoplifter. Another officer and a security guard were also wounded.