Vegas Shooter Was A Gambler With A Bank-Robbing Father (Photos) - Opposing Views

Vegas Shooter Was A Gambler With A Bank-Robbing Father (Photos)

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Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on a crowd at a Las Vegas country music festival on the night of Oct. 1, killing at least 58 people and wounding 515.  Stephen shot himself later that evening after having fired hundreds of bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

An investigation into the shooter is ongoing.  It is believed at this point that he acted alone and that he has no connection to terrorist groups.  He is so far confirmed to have been a high-stakes gambler with a criminal father.

Stephen is a white male from Mesquite, Nevada, a retirement community located about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.  CNN reports that he previously lived in Orlando, Florida.

He is divorced and is not believed to have any children of his own.  Independent Journal Review reports that he lived with one other person, Marilou Danley, an Australian citizen who is now a person of interest.  She is rumored to have lived with him since early 2017.

The shooter's brother, Eric Paddock, told NBC that Stephen was "just a guy" who had never shown violent tendencies.

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"Mars just fell into the earth, "he said. "We’re completely dumbfounded."

Bruce Paddock, Stephen's other brother, was also shocked at his brother's ability to commit such a deadly crime.  He said that they hadn't spoken in over 10 years.

"I don't know how he could stoop to this low point, hurting someone else," Bruce said, adding that his brother was a "never-in-a-hurry" type of person.

NBC reports that public records show Stephen to have lived in 27 residences in Nevada, California and Florida during his lifetime.  According to his brothers, he grew up in Sun Valley, California.

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Stephen's only connection to crime was through his father, Patrick Benjamin Paddock, a notorious bank robber who was on the FBI's most wanted list from June 10, 1969 to May 5, 1977, CNN reports.

Patrick was known by the FBI by his alias name, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock.  According to NBC, Benjamin was first arrested in Las Vegas the late 1960s after stealing $25,000 from three Arizona banks.  Newsweek reports that he broke out of a Texas prison on Dec. 24, 1968.  The FBI report on him, completed after the breakout, detailed his crimes and state of mind: "Paddock, described as psychopathic, has carried firearms in commission of bank robberies.  He reportedly has suicidal tendencies and should be considered armed and very dangerous." 

According to the New York Post, Benjamin was spotted in Las Vegas in 1971, at which point he attempted to run over an agent with his vehicle.  He was described at the time as a "glib, smooth-talking man who is egotistical and arrogant," Newsweek reports.

Benjamin robbed another bank in San Francisco before relocating to Oregon, where he lived undercover for several years before being recaptured.  Newsweek reports that he was arrested in 1978 after he was discovered operating a bingo-parlor under the name Bruce Werner Ericksen.

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Eric said that Benjamin died a few years prior to the Vegas shooting, though public records say he died in 1998.  He was reportedly never with the brothers' mother, whom Stephen talked to a few weeks prior, according to Eric.

Eric claimed that Stephen, the shooter, was wealthy from playing $100-a-hand poker.  Prior to that, he is said to have been an auditor, The Telegraph reports.

According to NBC, he gambled between $10,000 to $30,000 or more per day on several occasions at Las Vegas casinos.  That information was gleaned from Multiple Currency Transaction Reports, which are required by the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS-mandated when casinos cash-in or out any transactions in excess of $10,000 dollars.  It is not yet clear whether Stephen's large gambling days were losses or wins.

The Telegraph reports that former neighbors of Stephen confirmed that he loved to gamble and once won $20,000 in an online gambling.  Recent reports show that he had several high-stakes gambling transactions in the weeks before the shooting.

Stephen was also a gun owner.  According to The Telegraph, none of his legally-owned guns are believed to have been used in the shooting.

Sources: Independent Journal Review, The Telegraph, NBC, CNN, Newsweek, New York Post, FBI via The Independent / Featured Image: Kcferret/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Stephen Paddock via The Telegraph, FBI via Newsweek

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