The sister of a Massachusetts woman allegedly fatally shot in the face by her US Air Force veteran husband has called for the ‘coward’ suspect to turn himself in amid an urgent manhunt.
Aaron Pennington, 33, allegedly shot his wife, Breanne Pennington, 30, in their home on Sunday morning, before fleeing in a white BMW sedan that was later found in the woods. The couple’s kids ran to a neighbor’s house to alert others to the killing.
Pennington spent eight years in the US Air Force as a ‘special missions aircraft maintainer’ and now works at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, where he also holds an ‘active secret clearance,’ according to his LinkedIn profile.
As cops continue to hunt for the suspect, Breanne’s heartbroken family shared their shock at losing the ‘loving, caring, compassionate’ mother-of-four.
‘We’re all in shock about this. We’re all in shock. We had no idea something like this would ever happen,’ Brooke Pertile, Breanne’s sister, told Boston25.
‘He better turn himself in. He needs to stand up for what he did, and turn himself in. And not be a coward. He needs to turn himself in. He needs to do it for the kids.’
Aaron Pennington, 33, remains at large after allegedly fatally shooting his wife Breanne in the face on Sunday morning
Breanne (right) was described as a ‘loving, caring, compassionate’ mother-of-four, as her family urged her ‘coward’ husband to turn himself in
Court filings revealed that Breanne had been planning to take their four children to Texas, away from Aaron who allegedly suffered from mental health issues and suicidal threats
The tragic scene inside their family home in Gardner, Massachusetts, was discovered after the couple’s four children aged two, five, seven and nine – ran to a neighbor’s house at around 9.14am on Sunday.
Pertile said her sister lived for their children, and was a ‘very loving, caring, compassionate woman’ who ‘always saw the best in everything and people.’
‘She definitely lit up the room like no other, any room that she walked in,’ she added.
A criminal complaint has revealed the Penningtons’ marriage was troubled, as Breanne was planning to take their children to Texas and away from Aaron.
The complaint also alleges that Aaron had been suffering from mental illness and had threatened to take his own life.
‘He, on the outside, he was a very nice person. But he’s been struggling with some mental health issues. They just were getting worse,’ said Breanne’s sister, who said she had spoken to her just three days before the shooting.
The couple’s children who ran for help are now reportedly in state care.
Pennington is described as white and 6-feet 2-inches tall, with blond hair and blue eyes. He is considered armed and dangerous, and police have directed people not to approach him.
Breanne’s sister said she ‘lit up the room’, while Aaron had been ‘struggling with mental health issues’ that were ‘getting worse’
The couple’s home in Gardner, Massachusetts, where police found Breanne Pennington, 30, dead in an upstairs bedroom
The 33-year-old veteran’s BMW was found abandoned in a wooded area near the city of Gardner
A trooper reported that the children ‘came over to [the neighbors] house scared because they could not find their father and their mother was in her bedroom crying.’
When cops entered the home, they found Breanne in an upstairs bedroom with a gunshot wound to the face, and Aaron’s car was gone from the driveway.
The complaint alleges that Pennington owns an illegally possessed firearm without a license to carry, and although three shell casings were found in the bedroom, no firearms were found inside the home.
Breanne was also known to keep a gun in the home for protection, police said.
Surveillance video showed the 33-year-old fleeing in a white BMW sedan at 8.50am Sunday. The car was later found abandoned in a wooded area near Gardner.
Searches for the suspect on Tuesday, the third day of the manhunt, saw helicopters and a large police presence descend on the forest where the vehicle was found.
Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson said although the city has received numerous requests to hold a vigil for Breanne, he asked for them to be delayed ‘due to the fact that the investigation is still ongoing and since the suspect is still at large.’
In a 2016 Facebook post, the father praised Breanne as the ‘hardest working mother and wife out there’
Aaron is described as white and 6-feet 2-inches tall, with blond hair and blue eyes. He is considered armed and dangerous, and police have directed people not to approach him
In a 2016 Facebook post, the U.S. veteran thanked his wife for all that she did for the family.
‘You have the most selfless outlook and are so dedicated to making us happy,’ he wrote. We appreciate you as the hardest working mother and wife out there. You are truly amazing!’
He praised her for ‘always being patient’ and setting a great example for their children.
After news of her death broke, social media was flooded with posts commemorating Breanne’s life, with several women mentioning they knew her from an online group for expecting mothers.
‘Imagine my shock when I was scrolling and said to myself ‘That looks like Breezy’s husband, what happened?’ just to find out he murdered her and ran away,’ one woman wrote.
‘I’m absolutely SICK over this and thinking of her four precious babies. Breezy Pennington was an amazing mom, hilarious friend, and a truly sweet soul.’
‘I am hurt, sad, frustrated, angry, and most of all confused why someone has to take someone else’s life because they are unhappy,’ another friend wrote.
‘We all want justice for you and want nothing but the best for your 4 beautiful children that we all know you loved sooooo much.’