Trump’s Would Be Assassin Was a National Math and Science Initiative Student, Parents Both Worked in Mental Health Field: Report

Thomas Matthew Crooks

Late Saturday, law enforcement officials named 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks as the man who pulled the trigger in a brazen assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump in the early moments of an outdoor rally in Butler, Pennsylvania attended by tens of thousands.

In a statement, FBI said the Bethel Park man behind the attack killed former fire chief Corey Comperatore and critically injured two others before U.S. Secret Service agents neutralized Crooks. Crooks had no social media presence, and very little is known about his life and possible motive.

According to media reports, state records show Crooks is a registered Republican but reportedly made a $15 donation to ActBlue as a 17-year-old after President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Despite this, the FBI has not identified any ideology that may have influenced his actions, as officials explained on a call with reporters.

The FBI emphasized that Crooks acted alone, assuring the public that there are “no public safety concerns”  at this time. However, the investigation continues as authorities work to uncover a motive.

The weapon used in the attack was an “AR-style rifle purchased legally by the suspect’s father.” Matthew Cook, Crooks’ father, expressed confusion over his son’s actions and declined further comment until he had spoken with authorities.

Authorities also found a “suspicious device” in Crooks’ car near the scene and are inspecting it with bomb technicians.

Thomas Crooks graduated in 2022 from Bethel Park High School and received a $500 “star award” from the National Math and Science Initiative. He even appeared in a Blackrock commercial during his high school years.

Former classmates described Crooks to regional reporters as a loner with few friends who was bullied. They noted that he wore a shirt from Demolition Ranch, a gun-related YouTube channel, during the attack.

Crooks had no previous criminal history or military service, according to the FBI. He worked as a dietary aide at Bethel Park Skilled Nursing Center, where the administrator noted he performed his job without incident and had a clean background check.

Robert Wells, the executive assistant director of the FBI’s National Security Branch, explained the investigations dual focus: “At this point [in] the investigation, it appears that he was a lone actor, but we still have more investigation to go. We are investigating this as an assassination attempt, but also as a potential domestic terrorism act.”

Trump, hit in the ear less than 10 minutes into his remarks, was escorted offstage by Secret Service agents. Blood was visible near his right ear and on his cheek, but the Trump campaign confirmed that he is “fine.”

Kevin Rojek, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Pittsburgh, confirmed that the weapon recovered was “an AR style 556 rifle, which was purchased legally.” He noted that officials are searching the shooter’s phone and home.

According to state records, both of Crooks’ parents are mental health professionals.


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Christy Kelly is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Christy on Twitter / X. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Thomas Matthew Crooks” by Bethel Park School District.



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