Police: Sanford man held pent-up rage, 'snapped' before sword attack on family

A man accused of attacking a family with a samurai sword faced a Seminole County judge on Thursday.

Gary Campbell, 59, was denied bond and will remain jailed on charges of attempted first-degree homicide and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Investigators said Campbell told police officers that, after years of pent-up rage, he "snapped" and attacked his parents and sister with a samurai sword. Sanford police said it all unfolded at the Sanford home early Wednesday morning.

"We received a 911 call stating that officers and paramedics needed to arrive at that residence, that the people inside needed help, yet no specifications on what happened or what help was needed," said Sanford Police Spokesperson Bianca Gillett.

Gillett said they arrived to find Campbell pacing in the street, and inside the home was a house of horrors.

"This scene was very, very gruesome. The wounds were very brutal, that type of weapon is pretty unforgiving. The results of their injuries show that."

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Police said Campbell used a Japanese katana sword to slash his elderly father "about the face and body, causing massive injuries to his face, along with blood loss."  Then police said he went after his mother and "started slicing her about the face and body, causing massive injuries." The report says Campbell’s sister tried to stop him, "to which Campbell utilized the same katana on her, causing injuries to her arms."

"This is a family that had been living together for a number of years. Mr. Campbell and his sister were both adults and these were elderly parents. They all lived together," Gillett said.

Paramedics took all three of Campbell’s relatives to the hospital in critical condition. 

Police said when they asked Campbell why he did it, he said that "he has had pent up 'rage' throughout his childhood," and that the start of this anger was "from the physical abuse as a child and constant questioning and nagging as an adult."

"If maybe Mr. Campbell would have gotten some professional help, this wouldn't have been the outcome," Gillett added. "Unfortunately, what we arrived on was a scene that was already passed the help we could have provided."

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