Deputies: Avila mansion fire was murder-suicide

Tampa, Florida -- Hillsborough deputies have confirmed the bodies found in a house fire at an upscale Tampa neighborhood were the family that lived there, and that it appears to be a murder-suicide.

Hillsborough Col. Donna Lusczynski told reporters on Friday that the bodies recovered from the burned-out Avila mansion were that of Darrin Campbell, his wife Kimberly and their two children Megan and Colin.

Investigators say Darrin had purchased fireworks, gas cans and gasoline in the days before the family was killed. They believe he then shot his wife and children each in the head on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning with a .40-caliber handgun he bought a handgun at Shooter's World on Fletcher Avenue last year.

Lusczynski says Campbell then scattered the fireworks and gas around the house before setting it ablaze.

"He systematically shot his son, his daughter, and his wife in the head, then went and bought fireworks, scattered them throughout the house, doused the house with gasoline, set the house on fire and then shot himself," says Lusczynski.

Investigators are still working to determine what drove Darrin Campbell to kill his family.

Lusczynski said the sheriff's office had not been investigating Campbell before the killings and did not know of any other agencies that may have been investigating him. Campbell had no criminal record before his death.

Investigators are looking into the family's finances and going through records found in the home, Lusczynski said.

The Campbells had been renting the 6,000-square-foot home from James Blake, a former professional tennis player. The million-dollar home 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.

"It's so sad. No one can believe this has happened right in our community," said one homeowner.

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Campbell had been an executive for several high-profile businesses, including a stint at PODS, the mobile storage company. 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.

Now, the big question -- why? It's a question that may never be answered. "We are interviewing friends, family and colleagues to see if we can find out what led to this horrible tragedy," said Lusczynski.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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