The Mason County man who killed four people and himself on Friday had access to several firearms despite being subject to a court order last summer requiring him to surrender any weapons in his possession or control.
Authorities say a Mason County man who shot and killed his wife, her two sons and a neighbor last week had access to a handgun and five rifles or shotguns — despite being subject to a court order last summer requiring him to surrender any weapons in his control.
A Kitsap County District Court commissioner ordered David Wayne Campbell to turn over any guns to law enforcement last July, when a former employee obtained a temporary protection order against him. The employee, Joe Gallegos, said Campbell had threatened him and pointed a .32-caliber pistol at him.
But after a Mason County sheriff’s deputy went to Campbell’s house to serve the order, Campbell insisted he didn’t have any guns and filled out a court form to that effect: “I have not surrendered any firearms … because I do not have any of those items,” the form said.
Unlike a domestic-violence protection order, the anti-harassment order Gallegos obtained did not authorize deputies to search the house to see if he was telling the truth, Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling said Tuesday.
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“It’s just an honor system,” Spurling said. “We couldn’t do anything more than what we did.”
Campbell called deputies Friday morning from his home near Belfair to report he had done something bad and was suicidal. Authorities said they negotiated with him for 3½ hours before trying to flush him out of his house with tear gas. That’s when Campbell came outside and killed himself.
Investigators discovered the bodies of his victims in a chicken coop: Campbell’s wife, Lana J. Carlson, 49; her two sons adopted from Kazakhstan, Quinn, 16, and Tory, 18; and a neighbor, Donna Reed, 68. A 12-year-old girl escaped uninjured; Spurling said Tuesday that Campbell told negotiators he was eager for her to get away from the house.
Campbell had an extensive history of nonviolent crimes, including felony convictions in Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Missouri that barred him from possessing firearms. It’s not clear whether Campbell owned any of the guns, Spurling said.
Campbell’s wife, Lana Carlson, came into possession of the handgun that Campbell appears to have used in the killings when her previous husband died, he said. Federal authorities are still tracing the long guns.
Regardless of whether he owned the weapons, he had control of them and should have turned them over, Spurling said.
Given Campbell’s long history of crimes, including fraud and impersonating a police officer, “It’s not surprising that he lied,” Spurling said.
Gallegos, who worked for Campbell’s heating and air-conditioning company, said Tuesday his old boss was angry that he was cooperating with a state investigation into whether Campbell had performed unlicensed electrical work.
Gallegos said that when he learned Campbell had claimed not to have any guns, he called the sheriff’s offices in both Kitsap County, where he lives, and in Mason County, where Campbell lived, to complain. He was told he needed to go back to court to pursue the matter, he said.
“If they’d just done what I asked — if they went out and talked to the family — they would have said, yeah, he’s got guns everywhere,” Gallegos said. “I don’t know what to say or do anymore. It’s just a horrible thing.”
Investigators said Tuesday they may never know the motive for the killings.