The brother of the man who committed the deadliest mass shooting in American history has been arrested on child pornography charges in California.
TMZ reported October 25 that Bruce Paddock was taken into custody by authorities in North Hollywood at an assisted living facility. Law enforcement officials told the news outlet that authorities received a tip that there was child porn on his computer, and they obtained a search warrant and located evidence of the files.
Bruce remains in police custody and is being held on $60,000 bail. Police said there is “no connection” to his arrest and the Las Vegas shooting.
The report stated that the investigation into the tip started prior to when his brother, Stephen Paddock, shot and killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 others from his Las Vegas hotel room before committing suicide.
In the days that followed the shooting, NBC News spoke to Bruce, who told the news outlet that he hadn’t been in contact with him for close to a decade and had no idea why he would commit such an act.
“I don’t know how he could stoop to this low point, hurting someone else,” he told NBC News during an interview. “It wasn’t suicide by cop since he killed himself. He killed a bunch of people and then killed himself so he didn’t have to face whatever it was.”
Here’s what you need to know about Bruce:
1. Bruce Was Arrested by a Joint Task Force
TMZ’s report says that officers had been trying to locate Bruce before the shooting, but didn’t have any success. But after his brother committed the act, they received a tip that he was living in an assisted living home in Hollywood. NBC News reported that he was at the facility because he had an upcoming surgery scheduled for spinal stenosis.
After obtaining the search warrant from a judge, they found images of child porn on his computer and authorities arrested him on a task force along with agents from the F.B.I. and officers from the Los Angeles Police Department.
The attorney who served as Bruce’s lawyer in legal matters told NBC News that he no longer represented him and declined to comment on the latest developments.
2. Bruce Faces 20 Counts Relating to the Child Porn
According to a felony complaint for an arrest warrant, Bruce possessed “over 600 images of child or youth pornography” between January 1, 2014 and August 30, 2014. The pornography contained images of minors “engaging in or simulating sexual conduct.” Police also accuse Bruce of having “10 or more images of a prepubescent minor or a minor who was under 12 years of age.”
In addition, police also say Bruce knowingly shared the images containing the minors and was involved in child exploitation. The complaint says that he faces 19 counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of possession of child pornography.
3. Bruce Has a Criminal Record That Dates Back to the 1980s
A search of Bruce’s criminal record shows crimes dating back to the 1980s. Past convictions include vandalism, making criminal threats, theft and driving on a suspended license. His criminal record came to light following the shooting and he said that he “wasn’t proud of it” but never ended up in a jail. When it was reported there was a warrant for his arrest in relation to the vandalism case, he quickly paid the fine to avoid it.
Bruce had been visited twice by federal agents after the shooting, but the questions revolved around his family’s history and Stephen’s upbringing. Most recently, Bruce had spoken out about where his brother’s remains would go, and he told media members that he reached out to the Nevada Coroner’s Office to see if he’d be able to claim them.
Past co-workers of Bruces’ say he demonstrated peculiar traits and seemed nervous at times. One former colleague said that he’d sit in an attic and watch employees work without their knowledge.
4. Bruce Isn’t the Brother Who Gave Media Interviews
After the shooting, one of Paddock’s two brothers spoke out to media members about the kind of guy that he was. That was his brother Eric Paddock, not Bruce. Eric resides in the Orlando, Florida area and was at a loss for words in the days that followed the shooting.
Eric told reporters one day after the shooting that his brother had worked as an accountant and was a “multimillionaire.”
“He was a wealthy guy playing video poker … on cruises,” Eric told CNN, adding he once won $40,000 on a slot machine. “He played high-stakes video poker to be able to stay at home in the casino.”
Eric said his brother would often be the recipient of free rooms and meals in return for the amount that he gambled at Vegas casinos. He told The Associated Press that his brother’s wealth was “substantial” and included real estate.
According NBC News, a casino executive with access to Paddock’s Multiple Currency Transaction Reports said the shooting suspect gambled over $10,000 per day on “multiple occasions” at Las Vegas casinos. In some cases, those amounts rose to upwards of $20,000-$30,000.
Eric told The Daily Mail that his brother, to his knowledge, had “no political affiliation” and also had “no religious affiliation.” In an interview with CNN, Eric said he had no idea how his brother obtained the weapons, but he held pro-gun beliefs. Public records obtained by The Daily Mail indicated that Paddock held both hunting and fishing licenses.
Paddock was not a registered voter, as either a Democrat or a Republican, in Clark County or elsewhere in Nevada, where his permanent residence was located. He was also not a registered voter in Florida, despite some social media claims he was a registered Democrat there.
“He’s never even drawn his gun,” Eric said. “It makes no sense. He’s never hit anybody. He had a couple of handguns, I think. He had a safe with a couple of handguns, he might have had one long rifle, but he never had any automatic weapons that I knew of at any time. It just makes no sense. It’s like an asteroid fell.”
5. The Paddocks’ Father Was Once on the F.B.I.’s Most Wanted List
Bruce, Eric and Stephen are the sons of Patrick Benjamin Paddock, an infamous bank robber who spent years on the F.B.I.’s Most Wanted list. He also went by the alias of Benjamin Hoskins Paddock.
Archived newspaper reports that are available online state that Patrick Paddock robbed three banks in Phoenix in the early 1960s. The crime spree apparently carried through to Las Vegas, where he was arrested. A description of his car had been given to police following one of his robberies which is what led cops to Vegas. During his arrest, an officer fired at Patrick’s car, shattering the windshield.
Newspaper reports say that Patrick stole $20,000, which Newsweek says would be worth close to $165,000 today. Those reports also say that Patrick was living in Tucson with his wife and four children.
During his time in jail inside a Vegas jail, Patrick attempted to escape by assuming the identity of another prisoner. On Christmas Eve 1968, he broke out of prison in Texas. While on the run, Patrick went to San Francisco where he reportedly robbed another bank. From there, Patrick appeared on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. That description said that Patrick was an “avid bridge player” and that he had a scar above his right eye. In addition, it read that Patrick may have been suicidal and that he had been diagnosed as “psychopathic.”
Online records show that Patrick was rearrested in 1977. He was removed from the Most Wanted list on May 5, 1977.
At that point of his life, he had relocated to Eugene, Oregon, and was running a bingo game at the Bingo Center. He had changed his name to Bruce Werner Ericksen and also changed his appearance to avoided law enforcement. Newsweek reported that Patrick died in 1998.