A murder warrant has been issued for an “armed and dangerous” Raytheon worker accused of shooting his wife in the face at their family home in Massachusetts.
33-year-old US Air Force veteran Aaron Pennington is said to have shot his partner Breanne, 30, on Sunday morning before fleeing in a white BMW sedan that was later found in the woods.
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. has issued a murder warrant against Pennington as authorities frantically search for him, warning the public not to approach him because he is believed to be armed.
Gardner police officers were called to the Pennington home on Cherry Street in the northern Massachusetts town, where they found it According to a criminal complaint, Breanne, a mother of four, was lying in an upstairs bedroom with a gunshot wound to her face.
The discovery came after the couple’s children – aged two, five, seven and nine – ran to a neighbor’s house at around 9.14am.
33-year-old US Air Force veteran Aaron Pennington is said to have shot his wife Breanne, 30, on Sunday morning before fleeing in a white BMW sedan that was later found in the woods
Breanne “Breezy” Pennington, 30, was found with a gunshot wound to the face
The 33-year-old veteran’s BMW was found abandoned in a wooded area near the town of Gardner
The prosecutor said Pennington was seen on surveillance footage leaving the house around 9 a.m. Sunday, and on Monday evening a hunter spotted his BMW about 1,500 feet below wooded trail on Kenton Street near Camp Collier in Gardner.
Officers from multiple police departments and the K-9 unit combed the wooded area toward Pennington and used search helicopters.
They expanded the search area on Tuesday after admitting that his military training was “part of the equation” in the search.
The suspect spent eight years in the U.S. Air Force as a “special aircraft maintainer” and now works at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, where he also has an “active secret clearance,” according to his LinkedIn profile.
After Pennington’s vehicle was discovered Monday, a red alert was issued to residents in the area, urging them to remain indoors for several hours.
Officials said the warning was issued only out of “an abundance of caution,” but added in an update Tuesday that it would resume in the area near Camp Collier, a shared forest area for Boy Scout troops.
Investigators added that they “operate on the assumption that he is still alive” and warned the public to contact Pennington if they think they see him as he is considered armed and extremely dangerous.
Three shell casings were found in the bedroom where Breanne was shot, but no weapons were recovered.
Pennington allegedly shot his wife when she planned to leave him and take their children to Texas, court documents show
A massive police presence and tactical teams entered a wooded area near his home in Gardner, Massachusetts, on Tuesday as the manhunt expanded
A number of police vehicles were on scene and multiple agencies, including the state’s Special Tactical Operations team, assisted in the manhunt
As the search expanded, a helicopter was seen operating overhead. On Tuesday, officials acknowledged Pennington’s military background could help him in survival situations and was “part of the equation” in the manhunt
The criminal complaint also accuses Pennington of illegally possessing a firearm without a license to carry it.
A state trooper recalled what happened Sunday morning.
“Four children came to her home scared because they couldn’t find their father and their mother was crying in her bedroom,” they said.
“The four children were known to be living with their parents at 42 Cherry Street in the town of Gardner.
“The children also stated that their father’s vehicle was no longer in the driveway of the residence.”
Investigators said the couple had been struggling with marital problems “for some time” and that Breanne had planned to move to Texas with the children to escape her husband.
It was known that she had a weapon at home for protection, police said.
They also noted that Pennington had been struggling with “mental health issues” and had threatened suicide.
The couple’s home in Gardner, Massachusetts, where police found Breanne Pennington, 30, dead in an upstairs bedroom
The couple have four young children who fled to a neighbor’s house after the attack, claiming their mother was “crying in her bedroom.”
Pennington spent eight years in the U.S. Air Force as a “special mission aircraft maintainer” and now works at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, where he also holds an “active classified clearance,” according to his LinkedIn profile
Tributes were paid to Breanne following her death. An old friend described her as an amazing mother, a hilarious friend and a truly sweet soul.
The children were placed in the care of the state Department of Children and Families.
The investigation into the murder and Pennington’s whereabouts is continuing by Gardner police, state police officers assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police.
Anyone who sees Pennington is asked to contact the Gardner Police Department at 978-632-5600 or Massachusetts State Police at 508-829-8326. Police are warning the public not to approach Pennington because he may be armed.
Pennington is described as white, six feet tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes. He is armed and dangerous and police have told people not to approach him.