Today marked the fifth anniversary of the death of Yarmouth Police Sergeant and New Bedford native Sean Gannon, and his family issued an open letter to everyone in his honor in recognition of the somber day.

Gannon was killed in the line of duty on April 12, 2018, while serving an arrest warrant at a Barnstable home for a possible probation violation. It was then that Thomas Latanowich shot and killed Gannon, and also shot and severely injured Gannon’s K9 partner Nero.

In August 2021, Latanowich was found guilty of second degree murder.

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The family chose not to dwell on the circumstances of Gannon’s murder, but rather on what his life meant and the legacy it carries forward still today.

In the letter, which was posted by the Yarmouth Police Department on its Facebook page, the family said it wished to “take this opportunity to thank the thousands of people who continue to keep his memory and legacy alive through the countless memorials, letters, honors and ultimately, the gift of friendship to our family.”

“Moreover, the good that continues to emerge from such a grievous loss not only to our family but to the community that Sean served with distinction reveals the innate goodness of people that goes beyond the pale,” the family wrote.

“The qualities of compassion, generosity, self-sacrifice, a strong work ethic and basic decency that define Sean to his core continue to emerge that preserve not only his memory but bring a light of hope into a dark world," the letter continued. "Sean shone his light in his all too brief life. Now we can best remember him by doing the same.”

“As Sean’s widow Dara has previously stated, ‘No gesture of kindness is too small. Without seeking attention for himself, Sean acted on his principles and led by example.’ We can do likewise,” the family wrote.

“(On) this fifth anniversary of Sean’s death we can best honor Sean’s sacrifice and legacy by our care for one another and for the greater good in the world,” the letter concluded.

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