US & Canada

'Father killed' family in burned Florida home

A house owned by former tennis pro James Blake is seen after a fire, in this handout photograph provided by Hillsborough Fire Rescue in Tampa, Florida 7 May 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Investigators say they did not find a suicide note and were still investigating why Campbell killed his family

Police say a family found dead in a burned Florida home were shot and killed by their father, who set the house alight before killing himself.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Col Donna Lusczynski said investigators were looking to determine a motive.

The victims had rented the $1.5m (£884,468) home from former tennis star James Blake for about two years.

Mr Blake, 34, was not at the home, located in a wealthy Tampa neighbourhood, at the time of the fire.

He was one of the top-ranked tennis players in the world in 2006, retiring from competition in 2013 after a 14-year career.

Firework purchase

Col Lusczynski said they had not found a suicide note from Darrin Campbell, 49, but investigators had concluded the deaths were a so-called murder-suicide.

His wife, Kimberly, and their two children were found shot in the head in their respective bedrooms in the home.

Campbell then scattered fireworks and petrol around the house before setting it ablaze, according to police.

Police said Campbell had purchased "several" petrol cans and $650 (£384) of fireworks days before the fire destroyed their home.

Campbell had been an executive for several high-profile companies around the US and his wife, Kimberly, was a housewife. Their two children, Colin, 19, and Megan, 15, went to a nearby school,

"This is certainly disturbing," Ms Lusczynski said, adding the two teenagers were well-liked at their school. "Anytime something like this happens, it's a tragedy."

Firefighters were called on Wednesday morning to the home. Neighbours told police they heard explosions coming from the property.

Kimberly Campbell's father said earlier the family had been close-knit and successful.

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

William Weimer, vice-president of Phantom fireworks, confirmed Mr Campbell had bought fireworks on Sunday, describing them as the kind of fireworks usually set off in back gardens.

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