Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Las Vegas shooter's father was a bank robber and on the FBI's Most Wanted list

Decades before authorities say Stephen Paddock opened fire Sunday evening from a high-rise hotel near the Las Vegas Strip, leading to the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history — his father was one of the FBI's most-wanted fugitives.

Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, a convicted bank robber and con man described in a wanted poster as "psychopathic" with suicidal tendencies, had escaped from prison in 1969, earning him a spot on the FBI's list of most-sought-after and dangerous criminals. According to news accounts, he was not captured until 1978, when he was nabbed while running a bingo parlor in Oregon.

THE SHOOTER: What we know about Stephen Paddock, a high-stakes gambler, 'lone wolf'

THE LATEST: Details on the Las Vegas shooting, deadliest in U.S. history

PHOTOS: Scenes of confusion and chaos in Las Vegas

GRAPHIC: How the shooting unfolded

Officials said Benjamin Paddock is the father of Stephen Paddock, the gunman who started shooting Sunday evening from the window of a 32nd-floor hotel room overlooking a concert on the Las Vegas Strip, where 22,000 people had gathered for a three-day country music festival. At least 59 people were killed, including an off-duty police officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, authorities said.

More than 500 others, including two on-duty officers, were injured.

The gunman was found dead by Las Vegas SWAT officers in his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

His father had been convicted of bank robbery, auto theft and a confidence scam when he escaped from prison Feb. 3, 1969, in El Paso, Texas. At the time, his son Stephen would have been 15 years old.

At 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, Benjamin Paddock used a host of aliases, and was also known as "Chromedome" and "Old Baldy," according to his "Wanted" poster.

He remained on the FBI's Most Wanted list until 1977, when he was removed for reasons that aren't clear.

Stephen Paddock's brother, Eric, told reporters outside his Orlando home Monday that their father was not around during their childhood.

"I was born on the run," he said.

The Washington Post's Barbara Liston in Orlando contributed to this report.

Las Vegas shooter's father was a bank robber and on the FBI's Most Wanted list 10/02/17 [Last modified: Monday, October 2, 2017 6:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Romano: C'mon Rick Baker, tell us how you really feel about Trump

    Local Government

    A brief timeline of presidential politics in St. Petersburg:

    Rick Baker, center,  waves to drivers while holding a sign that reads "Thank You" along with his family and supporters.
  2. In St. Petersburg mayor's race, Rick vs. Rick is also Rays vs. Rowdies

    Local

    ST. PETERSBURG — Maybe before the NFL's national anthem uproar you assumed professional sports were apolitical endeavors. You'd be dead wrong in the case of St. Petersburg's mayoral race.

    Rep. Janet Cruz D-Tampa, left, Rafaela Amador, Tampa Bay Rays Senior Director of Public Relations, center, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman talk with reporters during a press conference at Signature Flight Support in Tampa after returning from Ponce, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 11. (WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times)
  3. What we've learned from the Bucs' and Bills' playoff droughts

    Bucs

    Is it possible for the Buccaneers and Bills to be any farther off the NFL's radar? You get the feeling schedule-makers didn't think twice about putting this one down for 1 p.m. Sunday — the let's-hope-no-one-notices time slot.

    [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Motorcycle driver killed after hitting turning car on Keene Road in Largo

    Accidents

    A motorcycle driver was killed Friday evening when he struck a turning car, Largo police said.

  5. Drive-by shooting near Robles Park injures four people standing outside in crowd

    Crime

    TAMPA — Four people standing in a crowd were hit by bullets during a drive-by shooting near Robles Park in Tampa late Friday, Tampa police said.