- Courtesy FBI/Handout via REUTERS
Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, the father of Stephen Paddock, the man identified as the gunman who opened fire on a Las Vegas festival on Sunday, was a well-known bank robber and on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list from 1969 to 1977, CNN reported on Monday.
Authorities have not yet determined a motive for his actions.
His father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was a diagnosed psychopath, according to the FBI, and he was convicted of “bank robbery, automobile larceny, and confidence game.”
He died several years ago, according to Eric Paddock, his son and Stephen’s brother.
The bureau’s poster on Benjamin said he had committed armed robberies, had “suicidal tendencies,” and “should be considered armed and very dangerous.”
Benjamin robbed several banks in Arizona in 1960 and was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison, but he escaped from a Texas prison in 1969, Fox News reported, citing historical newspaper articles.
He evaded law enforcement for several years after, adopted many aliases, and tried to build a new life as the manager of a “bingo parlor” in Oregon, Fox News reported. But in 1987, the Oregon attorney general slapped Paddock with seven racketeering charges related to his bingo business. Paddock reportedly settled the charges for $623,000.
Authorities said on Monday that Stephen had at least 10 rifles in a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where he had been staying since Thursday.
Armed with what appeared to be at least one automatic weapon, Stephen used the elevated vantage point to fire into the crowds across the Las Vegas Strip at the Route 91 Harvest festival, where the country singer Jason Aldean was onstage.
It’s the deadliest shooting in modern US history, surpassing the attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, last year, in which 49 people were killed.