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Deputies: Fla. man killed wife and kids, then self


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Deputies say a Florida man shot his wife and two teenage children at the upscale home they rented, then set the house ablaze before killing himself.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Col. Donna Lusczynski said at a news conference Friday that Darrin Campbell had purchased fireworks, gas cans and gasoline in the days before the family was killed.

Campbell shot his wife, Kimberly, and two children each in the head. Lusczynski says Campbell then scattered the fireworks and gas around the house before setting it ablaze.

Lusczynski says investigators are still working to determine a motive.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

The flames that brought down a 6,000-foot-square mansion have been extinguished, the four bodies charred by the blaze removed.

With the results of autopsies pending and authorities indicating the possibility of a murder-suicide, investigators are now trying to piece together the story of the family that lived inside - and what may have led to the deaths.

All four of the people had been shot, authorities said, and detectives recovered a gun registered to Darrin Campbell, a career executive who lived in the house with his wife and two teenage children.

Campbell bought $650 worth of fireworks and a bunch of gas cans just days before the house went up in flames, officials said.

Authorities still have not positively identified the bodies found inside as those of the Campbells, but police said they had been renting the property from a former tennis star, and the family has not been accounted for. A relative said they were inside the home at the time of the fire.

On Thursday, officials sifted and raked through the charred remains on the property.

4 Dead In Fire At Former Tennis Player James Blake's Florida Home

"We plan to spend the next several days continuing to process the scene," said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Col. Donna Lusczynski. She said it was possible more information could be released Friday.

The million-dollar home now in ruins was owned by James Blake, a former professional tennis player, and it was located in Avila, a gated community known for its resident sports stars and CEOs. Located on one of Tampa's most exclusive streets, in one of its most secure, tony neighborhoods, the five-bedroom, five-bath home had a pool and spa, and was graced by tall palm trees.

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 his children's private school. His wife, Kimberly, was a stay-at-home mom, according to her father, Gordon Lambie.

The family moved to Tampa more than a decade ago. They sold a home in another exclusive Tampa neighborhood for $750,000 in 2012 and moved closer to their children's school, Carrollwood Day School, Lambie said.

Nineteen-year-old Colin Campbell was a talented baseball player who planned to graduate high school next month. His teenage sister, Megan, was a ninth-grader who made the honor roll and took dance lessons.

"I've lost my entire family," Lambie said from his Michigan home. "It's very tough right now because I'm 1,500 miles away."

On Thursday, teens openly grieved on social networks for Megan and Colin, using hashtags such as (hash)RIP and (hash)prayforthecampbells.

Officials said they weren't looking for any suspects in the case and that murder-suicide was a possibility, but have stopped short of officially declaring that.

Family and friends were in disbelief over the untimely deaths of such a seemingly successful family.

Darrin and Kimberly met in Lansing, Michigan, when they both worked as aides in the state legislature, her father said. Kimberly Campbell had graduated from Central Michigan University and Darrin Campbell had an MBA from the University of Michigan.

They lived in San Antonio, where Campbell was an executive with Pearl Brewing Company, before moving to the Tampa area.

At some point, he became senior vice president at PODS, the mobile storage company, and left there in 2007. He was most recently chief operating officer at Vastec, where he worked for the past six months.


Associated Press reporter Tony Winton contributed to this report.

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
gawa.greene May 09 2014 at 6:10 PM

Im tired of all these antidepressant taking bipolar a-holes killing their families then themselves be a man blow your own brains out leave every one else the hell alone!!

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wrigeo May 09 2014 at 7:31 PM

I think the grammar cops should stay home.

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1 reply
Franco wrigeo May 09 2014 at 8:24 PM

I don't see any grandmas around, do ya? :O

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Wendy Pappas May 09 2014 at 7:34 PM

Why, why, why do suicidal people feel the need to take their whole family with them ! I cant stand it....These children deserved to live their lives....very sad.

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1 reply
wudupbudacup Wendy Pappas May 09 2014 at 9:17 PM

It could be insanity but it could also be that the guy had gotten himself into something so deep and evil that he knew somebody was coming after his family and he wanted to make sure their life was ended quickly instead of long, drawn out and torturous by somebody else. Or like another poster commented, maybe it's not even that family maybe he just made it appear to be his family and his family is long gone and in hiding. Whatever it is the FBI will figure it out….they're pretty good at that stuff. They have a little bit of experience with things like this.

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mariamaya8234 May 09 2014 at 8:18 PM


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5 replies
Rockin Robin May 09 2014 at 8:25 PM

What a chicken **** this so called family was to off his wife and children in such a horrible and tragic end, why not just jump your screwed up self off a bridge and leave your wife and mother of your children alone ?

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What's Shakin T May 09 2014 at 8:27 PM

"Lusczynski says investigators are still working to determine a motive."

Easy, the wife served him with divorce papers. Since the court system is biased towards fathers by awarding the wives the children, houses, financial assets, etc. Just one father showing he couldn't take it anymore and felt like this was his only way out. Too bad that he took his children with him and didn't give them the chance to live out their lives. The wife---who cares!

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2 replies
marshawe What's Shakin T May 09 2014 at 8:37 PM

house wasn't theirs and that explains why he may have killed her, what about the kids?

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bmwrjw What's Shakin T May 09 2014 at 9:03 PM

The husband murdered his family and destroyed a house that wasn't his and it was her fault? Your post is right up there with the stupidest comment of all time.

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1 reply
heart2survive bmwrjw May 10 2014 at 2:58 AM

Your so right bmwrjw. So far he's sexually abused his daughter, one post suggested..one said he was an a thief, and stole a lot of money...another he killed four other innocent people and fled with the family ...and are in hiding. None of these people should be loose in the public. With their imagination, they need help.

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alamow2 May 09 2014 at 8:28 PM

How VERY sad for all the family . Such a shame that a person wanting to commit suicide has to take his whole family with him. Then again he had to have a sick mind to commit suicide anyway.

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1 reply
heart2survive alamow2 May 10 2014 at 2:55 AM

Except he had the "rational" mind to buy the cans of gas, and the fireworks. Obviously, his mind was functioning..doubt if we will ever truly understand why someone kills their entire family.

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marshawe May 09 2014 at 8:34 PM

Maybe it wasn't really their body's in the fire. Maybe he got involved in something over his head and had to stage their deaths. Maybe the fire was set so they couldn't recognize the bodies. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. There could be a lot of maybe's and that's why they aren't showing pictures of the family. Or maybe it really is bad journalism.

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1 reply
heart2survive marshawe May 10 2014 at 2:53 AM

Sure he lured four other innocent into the home (although not sure where he could have found them...) killed all four, set the scene...leaving people to think it was him...and they all fled. They now live on some remote island sipping pina colada's ...Come on, pull that imagination to rest and think about what you just said. Don't worry some blood thirsty newspaper will get pictures of each one of the victims and the shooter and display them for all to see. I certainly don't need to see their picture, it would simply make this horrific tragedy even sadder. Seeing those two young people whose lives were taken from them, will certainly not make my day better. May they rest in peace.

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rayni May 09 2014 at 9:01 PM

All the Qs why take the entire family? My guess is that is what control freaks do right to the very end of their miserable selfish lives. Dictate how their family lives whether they like it or not and dictate their deaths as well.

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2 replies
sunon rayni May 09 2014 at 11:14 PM

they're called family annihilators.

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heart2survive rayni May 10 2014 at 2:47 AM

I tend to agree. I seriously doubt if mental health issues figure into this, more than control issues. For whatever reason, its such a heinous thing to do to your family or other innocent victims.

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Leslie May 09 2014 at 9:22 PM

I worked for a doctor and when family members were pushing to have the mother transferred to another facility for rehab due to Guillaime- Barre Syndrome (spelling ?) that could actually help her but he was such a control freak he would not have it allowed. He wanted to be in charge of everything to do with her care. He shot the disabled son in his bedroom and shot the family cat in a closet. He then went to the hospital and shot his wife in her bed and then shot himself right in front of a staff that ran to see what was happening. The weekend he did this was the first weekend he had let me have off in many months. Had it all planned out.

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3 replies
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