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Avila father took leave of absence from job before shooting family, torching home

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Memorial sits outside the burned Avila home Memorial sits outside the burned Avila home
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Darrin Campbell, the man authorities say shot his family and set their Avila house on fire before killing himself, requested a leave of absence from his executive job on Monday, a company official confirmed to News Channel 8.

Campbell requested a leave of absence from his job as Chief Operating Officer of document imaging company VASPAR on Monday for “an unspecified reason,” and the company agreed, said Chris Jadick, VASPAR vice president of communications.

The leave comes after Campbell was away from work the previous week using some paid time off, he said.

On Sunday, Campbell was seen on surveillance video buying a large quantity of fireworks and authorities say he also bought gas cans and fuel. Investigators found fireworks spread around the house after the fire.

Asked about the work leave by News Channel 8 on Thursday, the day after the fire, Jadick declined to address the issue and said that Campbell was a current employee.

On Friday, Jadick acknowledged the leave.

The burned out shell of the mansion rented by the Campbell family sits in stark contrast the surrounding opulence of this upscale Avila neighborhood. Balloons, flowers and cards are attached to the mailbox.

“I think everybody just questions what mentality it takes, what state of mind are you in when you can kill your family kill your children? You can't even process that,” said neighbor Sheliah Maudin.

Deputies confirm, Campbell bought a large quantity of fireworks and purchased gas cans on Sunday. On Tuesday, he continued his diabolical plot, buying gas at two different stations.

Wednesday morning, he put the plot into motion, placing the fireworks throughout the house and using the gas to get the fire going.

“Darrin Campbell systematically with the gun that was registered to him, a 40 Sig sour systematically shot his son, his daughter, and his wife in the head,” said Col. Donna Luscznski.

Campbell had bought the gun almost a year earlier from Shooter's World on Fletcher Avenue. Manager, Bruce Kitzis said Darrin Campbell passed state and federal background checks and never returned after picking up the sig 40 caliber.

This case, especially with kids involved, is hitting investigators, hard.

“Anytime this happens, it's a tragedy. And it's disturbing to us as a sheriff's office, the investigators and everybody that participated,” said Col. Donna Luscznski.

Investigators are doing a "financial audit" to see if the family has money problems.

Before requesting that leave of absence on Monday, he took some time off from work last week, about the same time his wife went to Nashville for a trip with her friends.

WFLA's Lauren Mayk and Peter Bernard contributed to this story.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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