Deputies: Avila fire was part of murder-suicide - FOX 35 News Orlando

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Deputies: Avila fire was part of murder-suicide

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TAMPA (FOX 13) - The fire that ripped through a million-dollar Avila home early Wednesday was set to cover up a murder-suicide, investigators confirmed Friday, but they are still at a loss to explain why.

Detectives say they are now certain that Darrin Campbell "systematically" shot his son, daughter, and wife in the head, then proceeded to set fireworks around their home before setting it ablaze and killing himself.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Col. Donna Lusczynski said at a news conference that Campbell had purchased fireworks, gas cans, and gasoline in the days before the family was killed. The gun he used was a .40-caliber Sig Sauer pistol that he had bought in 2013.

The 5,800-square-foot home is owned by ex-tennis star James Blake, who was renting it out to the Campbells.

Darrin Campbell had been an executive for several high-profile businesses. He was most recently working at a records management firm and volunteering as treasurer at Carrollwood Day School, where son Colin was a senior and daughter Megan was a freshman.

His wife Kim was a stay-at-home mom, according to her father, Gordon Lambie.

Detectives say Campbell had recent told coworkers he would be taking some time off, but they did not indicate why.

Campbell has no criminal history and was not under any sort of investigation, deputies said, leaving the motive for the crimes a mystery.

"The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office extends condolences to the friends and family of the Campbell family," the agency stated in a press release. "The investigation continues, however the reasoning behind this tragedy may never be known."

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. George Northrup says the fact that Campbell plotted this over several days shows he was a man who'd made up his mind, and who may have wanted to protect them from something unknown.

"The fact they were found in their bedrooms probably says that this was thought out in such a way as to be simple," Northrup said.

Northrup says Campbell could be someone who shouldered his burdens internally, which could be why investigators say the motive is still unknown. It's frustrating for everyone who knew the Campbells.

"They all had so much to offer this world. What is so bad that you get to that point? You just can't even fathom that," said neighbor Sheila Mauldin.

Northrup says he is not surprised that no note from Campbell has been found. He says it indicates that this was an attempt to leave no answer behind.

Campbell wanted to destroy everything... and he did.


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