Las Vegas police and federal authorities will likely spend months piecing together the full story of last night’s tragic shooting at a country music concert.
What readily apparent in the immediate aftermath of Stephen Paddock’s unhinged massacre during a Jason Aldean performance on the famous Las Vegas strip is that the accused opened fire from his 32nd floor room at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino overlooking the concert, killing at least 58 and injuring over 500 more innocent civilians. As police breached the hotel room containing Paddock, the shooter then ended his life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Now, however, comes the difficult task of piecing together a timeline, a motive, and a reasonable plan of action to prevent similar future tragedies. To accomplish this, authorities will take a very tedious and meticulous look at the life and times of Stephen Paddock, starting with those closest to him.
As police began researching Paddock’s family, an intriguing cache of information regarding the shooter’s father has come to light.
“The father of the gunman behind the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history robbed a string of banks in Arizona, escaped prison in Texas and tried to start a new life as the manager of a bingo parlor in Oregon, according to historical newspaper articles.
“Eric, the brother of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, who killed at least 50 people from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino late Sunday, told the Orlando Sentinel that their father was Benjamin Hoskins Paddock.
“The elder Paddock, born in Wisconsin in 1926, had a host of other fake names and nicknames, including ‘Big Daddy’ and ‘Old Baldy,’ and was on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted list from 1969 to 1977.
“Paddock was indicted in 1960 on three counts of robbing Phoenix branches of Valley National Bank, the Arizona Republic reported on Oct. 6 that year. He was accused of stealing close to $25,000 and was caught in the summer of 1960 by FBI agents in Las Vegas.”
“Bingo Bruce”, as he was commonly known, remained in the crosshairs of federal authorities for decades before finally being slapped with massive fines in the late 1980’s and passing away in 1998.
This is merely the first piece of the puzzle that will need to be examined before any conclusions can be made regarding Stephen Paddock’s motivation for his massacre, although reports from fringe sources are alluding to Paddock’s involvement with anti-republican organizations as a possible angle in the case. Paddock’s targeting of a country music concert, whose overwhelming demographic would be conservative, has some believing that the shooter had political motivations similar to those of James T. Hodgkinson.