TAMPA, Fla. (WWJ/AP) – Authorities are calling it a horrible tragedy.
Sheriff’s deputies in an exclusive suburb of Tampa, Florida, say a man with Michigan connections shot and killed his wife and two kids, before setting the family home on fire and then killing himself.
The latest developments back up earlier reports that the deaths of Darrin Campbell, his wife and two teenage children were the result of a murder-suicide.
According to investigators, Campbell apparently bought $650,000 worth of heavy-duty fireworks and a multiple gas cans just days before the upscale house went up in flames.
“We know that on Sunday around 8 o’clock, he purchased the gas cans from a home improvment story,” detailed Susan Lusczynski with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office. “At 9 o’clock, give or take, he purchased fireworks from Phantom Fireworks; and then on Tuesday he made two purchases of gasoline from two different stores.”
Reports said the family members found dead had fireworks strapped to their bodies.
Campbell got his MBA the at university of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He and his wife met when they were aides at the State Legislature in Lansing.
The fire at the more-than-6,000-square-foot home north of downtown Tampa was reported about 6 a.m. Wednesday. Blake bought the home in the Avila subdivision in 2005 for $1.5 million, according to Hillsborough County property records. It had five bedrooms and five bathrooms. Video of the fire showed it totally engulfed in flames.
Lusczynski said, now that investigators know what happened, the question of a motive remains.
“At this point, we also don’t know why this occurred,” she said. “We’re continuing to conduct our investigation, interviewing family members, friends and associates, to see what could’ve led to this horrible tragedy.”
The family was renting the Avila, Florida home from former pro tennis player James Blake.
Avila is an exclusive enclave known for its mansions and heavy security. Many well-known athletes call the community home and over the years, various football, baseball and tennis players have bought homes in the subdivision, which has a country club and golf course.
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