K9 on his feet after Yarmouth police handler slain

The canine comrade of a slain Yarmouth police officer is back on his feet, according to a social media post from the Police Department.

“Our four-legged hero! The men and women of the Yarmouth Police Department are proud to report that our beloved K9 NERO is back on his feet — FIGHTING back and standing STRONG!,” according to a post on the department’s Facebook page.

Last Thursday, Nero was shot in the face and neck while his handler, Sean Gannon, carried out an arrest warrant for Thomas M. Latanowich in the Barnstable village of Marstons Mills.


Latanowich is accused of shooting Gannon in the head as the officer chased him into the attic of his home. Gannon was rushed to a local hospital, where he died from his wounds.

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Nero was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital on Friday, where he underwent surgery. By Sunday, Nero was able to walk down a hallway and eat a small amount of food, according to Barnstable police.

“We are still providing 24-hr Law Enforcement coverage for him,” said the Barnstable Police K9 Foundation in a Facebook post. “Thank you for all your continued support.”

Latanowich was charged with one count of murder and one count of mistreating a police dog. He pleaded not guilty at his Friday arraignment and was ordered held without bail.

Gannon, 32, had been a Yarmouth police officer for eight years and had been working with Nero for about a year.


A public vigil for Gannon will be held Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. at St. Pius X Church in South Yarmouth.

Gannon’s funeral Mass will be held at the church at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Burial will be private.

Until then, police will maintain a round-the-clock vigil over Gannon’s body, according to Yarmouth police Deputy Chief Steve Xiarhos.

Jerome Campbell can be reached at