Las Vegas shooter’s father was on FBI’s 10 most wanted list in 1968

The bank robber had escaped from a federal prison in Texas.

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Benjamin Paddock, father of Stephen Paddock, was on the FBI’s 10 most-wanted fugitives list in 1968.

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A motion graphic explaining how the events unfolded when Stephen Paddock opened fire from his hotel room on concert goers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
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Police say the gunman was perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
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Las Vegas Metropolitan Police say one of their own was among the scores of concertgoers killed when “lone wolf” gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on crowds at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
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Raw video shows the confusion as shots rang out during Jason Aldean’s performance at the Route 91 Harvest music festival near Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
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Police say the gunman was perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Video provided by Newsy
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Multiple victims were taken to hospitals across Las Vegas after a shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
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Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, father of the suspected Las Vegas shooter, was on the FBI’s most wanted list in 1971 after he was convicted of armed robbery and subsequently escaped from prison.(Photo: FBI)

Benjamin Paddock, father of Stephen Paddock, who is the suspect behind Sunday night’s massacre in Las Vegas, was on the FBI’s 10 most-wanted fugitives list in 1968 after escaping from a Texas prison that same year. 

Benjamin Paddock was sentenced to 20 years in the Federal Correction Facility in La Tuna, Texas, after robbing Valley National Bank in Phoenix in 1960, according to a news article from the Tucson Daily Citizen in 1971.

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Neighbors at Heritage Isle in Viera recall Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter. Paddock owned the home in 2013-15. More than 50 were killed in the Las Vegas mass shooting. Video posted Oct. 2, 2017, by Malcolm Denemark, FLORIDA TODAY.

Benjamin Paddock went by multiple aliases, like Perry Archer, Benjamin J. Butler, and Leo Genstein, among others. He also called himself “Big Daddy,” and was known by his colleagues as “Old Baldy” and “Chromedome,” the article reports. He worked as a garbage disposal salesman at the time of his arrest.

Two prior accusations of bank robberies surrounded Benjamin Paddock, but were dropped in court.

Police said Benjamin attempted to run over officers with his vehicle in Las Vegas when they arrested him for the Phoenix robbery.

Authorities at the time said Benjamin was a diagnosed psychopath and therefore, “extremely dangerous.” The FBI also reported he had suicidal tendencies. 

The Daily Citizen reported one officer in charge of the FBI Phoenix office said Benjamin Paddock was “a glib, smooth-talking man who is egotistical and arrogant.”

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Ten years later, Benjamin Paddock was located by police in Oregon, according to a 1978 report in the Arizona Republic. He had been living under the name Bruce Warner Erickson and operated a bingo parlor in Springfield, which he received a license to open. The investigation by authorities and the state’s attorney office in the process failed to uncover Benjamin Paddock’s true identity, the article reports.

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The bingo parlor was opened as part of the nonprofit organization Center for Educational Reform in Eugene, Oregon.

Benjamin Paddock even received two traffic tickets while using the false identity in Oregon.

Eric Paddock, Stephen Paddock’s brother, said the family was estranged from Benjamin after Eric’s birth, and Benjamin Paddock is now deceased. Public records confirm a Benjamin Paddock died in Tarrant County, Texas, in 1998. 

Sunday night’s Las Vegas shooting left at least 58 people dead and injured more than 500 as alleged shooter Stephen Paddock fired down on concertgoers from a hotel room above on the Las Vegas strip.

Sheets is a breaking news reporter at FLORIDA TODAY.

Contact Sheets at 317-444-3208

or tsheets@floridatoday.com

Twitter: @sheets_tess

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