Sheriff: Avila father killed family, himself, set home on fire - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Sheriff: Avila father killed family, himself, set home on fire

Posted: Updated:
Colin, Darrin, Megan and Kimberly Campbell. Colin, Darrin, Megan and Kimberly Campbell.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office provided new details on Friday about what happened inside a charred Avila mansion where the bodies of four people were found Wednesday.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Col. Donna Lusczynski said that the deaths were determined to be murder-suicide. Darrin Campbell shot his wife, Kimberly, and two teenage children, Colin and Megan, in the head. He placed fireworks throughout the family’s 6,000 square foot home, doused the home with an accelerant, lit the fire and shot himself, according to Lusczynski.

"Darrin Campbell systematically, with the gun that was registered to him... systematically shot his son, his daughter and his wife in the head," said Lusczynski.

Campbell did not leave a suicide note and he did not suffer from mental illness, according to the HCSO. An investigation is underway into why Campbell would kill his family.

"We're continuing to conduct our investigation, interviewing family members, friends, associates, to see what could have led to this horrible tragedy," said Lusczynski.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is also conducting a financial audit and is examining computers removed from the home.

Lusczynski gave new details about what Darrin Campbell did in the days before the murder-suicide. On Sunday around 8 a.m., he purchased gas cans from a home improvement store. At 9 a.m., he purchased fireworks. On Tuesday, he bought gas at two different locations. Investigators are trying to get surveillance video from the purchases.

Lusczynski also said on Friday that the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner identified the remains in the home as those of the Campbell family.

"We express our condolences to the family and encourage anybody who may have information, please come forward to the sheriff's office to provide us with that," she said.

Fire crews were called to the home around 5:45 a.m. Wednesday by neighbors reporting an explosion in the area.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Col. Donna Lusczynski previously described the fire as "unusual" and says the bodies of two adults and two teens were found in their respective bedrooms.

Kimberly Campbell's father, Gordon Lambie, previously told WFLA News Channel 8 that his daughter, her husband and their two children were found dead Wednesday morning in the Avila home they were renting.

The 6,000 square-foot home is located at 16223 Sierra de Avila and owned by retired tennis pro James Blake, who was renting it to the Campbell family.

William Weimer, vice president of Phantom fireworks in Tampa, said that Darrin Campbell purchased $650 worth of "backyard fireworks" on Sunday morning. He told News Channel 8 that Campbell bought six packages of firecrackers and about seven packages of aerial fireworks.

Darrin Campbell worked as the COO for VASTEC, a tech company in Tampa and held various corporate jobs over the years.

Lambie said that Campbell recently took a year off from work and did some golfing. Lambie did not believe the family had money troubles. He said the Campbells moved to Florida almost 20 years ago.

Darrin and Kimberly Campbell met in Lansing, Michigan, when they both worked as legislative aides in the state legislature. Kimberly Campbell had graduated from Central Michigan University and Darrin Campbell had an MBA from the University of Michigan, Lambie said, before moving to Tampa.

They sold their previous home but wanted to live in a place close to their children's school, so they signed a two-year lease for Blake's home, which was close enough for the teens to walk to school, Lambie said. Police said the family had been living there for about two years.

The investigation into the cause of the fire could also be a slow process, HCSO says.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.




  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Los Angeles port welcomes massive rubber duck

    Los Angeles port welcomes massive rubber duck

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:26:58 GMT
     A giant yellow vinyl duck joins sailing ships and motorboats during the Tall Ships Festival L.A. parade in the Port of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. AP photo Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register A giant yellow vinyl duck joins sailing ships and motorboats during the Tall Ships Festival L.A. parade in the Port of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. AP photo Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register
    The Port of Los Angeles is welcoming an unusual visitor - the world's biggest bath toy. A 60-foot-tall rubber duck sailed into port Wednesday to kick off the Tall Ships Festival
    The Port of Los Angeles is welcoming an unusual visitor - the world's biggest bath toy. A 60-foot-tall rubber duck sailed into port Wednesday to kick off the Tall Ships Festival
  • Rappin' Xmas Jammies' family back with new video 'Baby Got Class'

    Rappin' Xmas Jammies' family back with new video 'Baby Got Class'

    Thursday, August 21 2014 3:31 PM EDT2014-08-21 19:31:01 GMT
    Image courtesy: www.youtube.com/TheHoldernessFamilyImage courtesy: www.youtube.com/TheHoldernessFamily
    A jammin' North Carolina family who made a Christmas video that went viral last year is at it again. The Holderness family's clever XMAS JAMMIES song featured the pajama-clad family rapping a video version of a yearly Christmas letter.
    A jammin' North Carolina family who made a Christmas video that went viral last year is at it again. The Holderness family's clever XMAS JAMMIES song featured the pajama-clad family rapping a video version of a yearly Christmas letter.
  • Peruvian nurse cares for 175 sick cats

    Peruvian nurse cares for 175 sick cats

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:47 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:47:33 GMT
    In this Aug. 2, 2014 photo, Maria Torero, plays with a group of 175 cats with leukemia in her home in Lima, Peru. Torero says caring for cats with feline leukemia is her responsibility. Anybody else can care for healthy animals. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)In this Aug. 2, 2014 photo, Maria Torero, plays with a group of 175 cats with leukemia in her home in Lima, Peru. Torero says caring for cats with feline leukemia is her responsibility. Anybody else can care for healthy animals. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
    At her job, Maria Torero cares for sick human beings. At home, she lavishes love on slowly dying cats - 175 of them at last count.
    At her job, Maria Torero cares for sick human beings. At home, she lavishes love on slowly dying cats - 175 of them at last count.
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sheriff: Avila father killed family, himself, set home on fireMore>>

  • Sidebar: Avila Mansion Murder-Suicide

    Tuesday, July 1 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-07-01 17:47:05 GMT
    AVILA MURDER MANSION - RELATED CONTENTMay 8, 2014: Resident of ignited Avila home recently purchased fireworksMay 8, 2014: Fla detectives not looking for suspects in Avila fatal fireMay 7, 2014: 911 calls from Avila mansion fireMay 7, 2014: 4 dead in burned Avila mansion, accerlant found in home
    AVILA MURDER MANSION - RELATED CONTENTMay 8, 2014: Resident of ignited Avila home recently purchased fireworksMay 8, 2014: Fla detectives not looking for suspects in Avila fatal fireMay 7, 2014: 911 calls from Avila mansion fireMay 7, 2014: 4 dead in burned Avila mansion, accerlant found in home
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.