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Stephen Paddock's Dad Was on FBI Most Wanted List, Brother Says

Patrick Benjamin Paddock reportedly robbed banks, broke out of prison, and spent years on the lam.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
Lia Kantrowitz
illustrated by Lia Kantrowitz
Photo of Patrick Benjamin Paddock via the FBI.

Long before Stephen Paddock allegedly killed at least 58 people and injured hundreds of others in Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas, his father was reportedly committing armed robberies across the country. In the 1960s, he went on a criminal spree that landed him in prison, sent him on a years-long run from the police, and placed him on the FBI's Most Wanted list, NBC News reports.

According to the suspected shooter's brother, Bruce Paddock, their father was Patrick Benjamin Paddock, a high-profile bank robber locked up for a series of armed heists back in the 60s. He allegedly robbed at least three banks in Phoenix, Arizona, stealing more than $20,000—which comes out to roughly $165,000 today, Newsweek reports. He was sentenced to 20 years in a Texas prison, but managed to break out in 1968. A few months later, he reportedly robbed a bank in San Francisco before dropping off the map—leading the FBI to add him to its list of the ten most wanted criminals in the country.


Paddock—who went by a variety of pseudonyms, including Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, "Chromedome," "Old Baldy," and "Big Daddy"—remained on the run until 1978, when police arrested him in Oregon, the Albuquerque Journal reports. According to Newsweek, he died in 1998.

Paddock's 1969 wanted poster describes him as "diagnosed as psychopathic," a criminal with "suicidal tendencies" who "has carried firearms in commission of bank robberies." The notice, signed by J. Edgar Hoover, also notes that he "should be considered armed and very dangerous."

In an interview with NBC News, Bruce Paddock said that unlike his father, his brother Stephen was a "law-abiding" man who "never did anything violent." Speaking with the Washington Post, Eric Paddock, a second brother, said Sunday's mass shooting baffled the family.

"We know nothing," he told the Post. "If you told me an asteroid fell it would mean the same to me. There's absolutely no sense, no reason he did this. He's just a guy who played video poker and took cruises and ate burritos at Taco Bell. There's no political affiliation that we know of. There's no religious affiliation that we know of."

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