YARMOUTH, MA (WHDH) - Thousands of Cape Cod residents and police officers lined the streets of Yarmouth Tuesday to honor a fallen K-9 officer as his body was taken from Hyannis to a local church for his wake.
Police cruisers from across the Commonwealth took part in a procession for 32-year-old Sean Gannon, who was killed last Thursday while serving a warrant at a home in the Marstons Mills section of Barnstable.
The procession passed by Cape Cod Hospital, where doctors desperately worked to save Gannon’s life. Many of those doctors, nurses and hospital staffers were seen standing along the route saluting Gannon.
“Unbelievable. They let everyone out of the hospital to show support,” emergency room worker Elaine Kuzyk said.
A visitation for Gannon began Tuesday afternoon. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Wednesday morning. Both will take place at St. Pius X Roman Catholic church. The funeral Mass will be followed by a private burial.
More than 10,000 people, including 5,000 police officers from as far away as California and Florida, are expected to attend the wake and funeral.
The officers marched shoulder-to-shoulder from the town high school to the church for the wake. Two officers will spend the night alongside Gannon’s body.
The sound of bagpipes could be heard as officers filed in and out of the church with their heads held high. Officers from nearly every town and city in Massachusetts were in attendance.
The Massachusetts State Police assumed the day-to-day duties in Yarmouth to allow the department an opportunity to pay their respects.
The wives of local police officers spent time wrapping blue ribbons around the church where Gannon will be memorialized. C.J. Brown, the wife of a Barnstable police officer, was among those who helped out.
“I feel like this has affected the entire community,” she said, “and everyone is looking for something that they can do.”
The community showed its support for Gannon’s family and his police department before the procession, tying blue ribbons around trees and poles along the route. Houses had blue light bulbs lit up outside and “thin blue line” American flags hanging up.
The family of fallen Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. traveled more than an hour to pay their respects.
Sharon Tarentino, Ronald’s mother, understands all too well what the Gannon family is going through.
“It never should have happened. We feel for them very deeply,” Sharon said. “This is what gets us through. Everyone just being together.
Tarentino was killed in May 2016 by a man with a long criminal record. Sharon is hoping for change that will get such offenders off the streets.
“It’s just wrong. Somebody should be held accountable,” Sharon said. “I said it after Ronny and I’ll say it here. I hope something good comes of it.”
Gannon 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.” He leaves behind a wife.
More than a dozen restaurants will also be donating food after the funeral. Ted Zambelis, of the Yarmouth House Restaurant, said Gannon and his wife would always come in and he called it an “honor” to feed his department and family.
Gannon’s cruiser, parked outside the Yarmouth Police Station, has been covered in a blanket of flowers. His dog, Nero, also was shot but underwent surgery and is recovering.
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