Las Vegas gunman's father was bank robber on FBI Most Wanted list, says brother

New York Daily News

The brother of Stephen Paddock, the gunman police say killed more than 50 people at an outdoor Las Vegas concert on Sunday night, has revealed details about their family's troubled past.

Eric Paddock told reporters Monday that their father was a convicted bank robber who was added to the FBI's Most Wanted list after escaping prison in the 1960s.

Patrick Benjamin Paddock, who went by a variety of aliases including "Chromedome" and "Old Baldy," was arrested in his 30s for robbing a Valley National Bank in Phoenix in 1960. At the time he was living in Tucson with his wife and four kids.

He escaped with over $4,600.

According to an Arizona Republic article dated Jan. 1961, the elder Paddock surrendered two days after the robbery after an officer shot at his vehicle, shattering his windshield.

Paddock was also accused of robbing two other Valley National Bank branches for more than $20,000, but the charges were dropped after he was convicted of the first crime.

According to a 1961 article, Paddock attempted to escape a Las Vegas jail by posing as another inmate. Paddock was waiting to be extradited to Phoenix at the time.

During a court appearance, Paddock testified that he would have fled the jail "if they had been lax enough to let me go."

Nearly a decade later, Paddock did escape while serving a 20-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution at La Tuna in Texas.

A federal warrant for his arrest was issued in Feb. 1969 and he was added to the FBI's 10 most-wanted fugitives list. Paddock remained on the most-wanted list until 1977. He was arrested the following year in Oregon, where he was managing a bingo parlor under the alias Bruce Werner Ericksen.

An Oregon Supreme Court opinion from 1981 says FBI agents arrested Paddock on Sept. 6, 1978, at the Bingo Center in the small city of Springfield.

Despite the escape, Paddock was paroled the following year and returned to Oregon. He continued the bingo operation until authorities shut it down in 1987 and charged him with racketeering.

Don Bishoff, a columnist for The Register-Guard of Eugene, wrote in 1998 that Paddock pleaded no contest to the charges, but he received no jail time. He wrote that Paddock spent the last decade of his life in Texas.

The columnist described Paddock as one of the Eugene-Springfield area's "most colorful rogues." Patrick Benjamin Paddock was also known as Bruce Ericksen.

Associated Press contributed

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