Cape Cod, MA – Massachusetts State Police tried to stop Thomas Latanowich for a traffic violation 10 days before he murdered Yarmouth Police Officer Sean Gannon.
“The vehicle did not stop and immediately exited the highway into a residential neighborhood along the Revere/Everett line,” state police told WBZ. “Because of the vehicle immediately getting off the highway into a thickly settled area, and also because of weather affecting road conditions [rain], we did not pursue.”
State troopers found the bumper of the car Latanowich was driving at the entrance to the Glenwood Cemetery in Everett, and they were able to follow his path of destruction through the property, which left fences knocked over.
A police K9 attempted to track Latanowich but was not successful.
WBZ reported that dispatchers realized the suspect was a dangerous individual and warned police to use caution because of his violent criminal record.
“Broadcast it to local police departments to BOLO for the subject. Again use extreme caution, knives and guns and drugs on the BOP, also active probation,” Massachusetts State Police said in the announcement to be on the lookout for Latanowich.
Latanowich had 111 entries on his criminal record, including several arrests that included dangerous weapons.
In 2010, he was convicted of carrying a double edge switchblade, assault with a dangerous weapon, and gun possession including a high-capacity feeding device, WBZ reported.
Police have said that the warrant Officer Gannon was serving on Latanowich when he was fatally shot, and his K9 Nero was wounded, had not yet been issued when police encountered his killer the week before. The suspect did not have any outstanding warrants at that time, WCVB reported.
The suspect barricaded himself inside the residence immediately after he shot Officer Gannon, and then a gunfight ensued with police, Time reported.
An armored tactical vehicle was used to gain entry to the home and take the suspect into custody.
Officer Gannon died at Cape Cop Hospital. His partner, K9 Nero, survived the attack with serious injuries. He was continuing to recover at a veterinary hospital.
Yarmouth Police Lieutenant Steven Xiarhos called Latanowich a "notorious and violent criminal" when he was arrested for stabbing a man who had just gotten out of prison in December of 2017.
The Boston Globe reported that Latanowich had been arrested in Cape Cod once a year for the past four years, with a result of more than 20 cases with his name on them in the Barnstable District Court alone.
He was found not guilty by judges twice, once had charges dropped when the victim invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and had most other charges dismissed, the Boston Globe reported after conducting a review of Latanowich’s record.
Latanowich pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on April 13, and was ordered held without bail. His probation had been scheduled to end Nov. 1, according to WBZ.