Pennsylvania police have named the “armed and dangerous” 19-year-old suspect in the shooting of Philadelphia journalist and community advocate Josh Kruger.
Kruger, 39, was shot seven times Monday in his two-story South Philadelphia mansion by Robert Davis, homicide unit Lt. Hamilton Marshmond.
A warrant has been issued for Davis’ arrest, citing “murder and related offenses.” Police said they were able to locate Davis after multiple tips and a video of the “incident prior to the murder,” but they provided no additional details.
“Our goal is to bring Mr. Davis into custody in a safe manner for the public, our officers and himself,” Marshmond said Friday.
Detectives said Kruger knew Davis and had tried to help him before he was killed. It is unclear how Davis entered the home, but police say they do not believe the suspect was staying with the victim.
Journalist Josh Kruger, 39, was shot seven times Monday in his two-story South Philadelphia mansion by intruder Robert Davis (pictured), according to police
Detectives said Kruger knew Davis and had tried to help him before he was killed
Kruger was able to get outside to seek help before succumbing to his injuries about half an hour later at a local hospital.
“He was just trying to help him through life,” Marshmond said.
Davis had reportedly been going through several problems, including homelessness.
Kruger — who worked in his city’s city government for five years from 2016 to 2021 — survived the initial encounter and was able to get outside to seek help before succumbing to his injuries about half an hour later at a local hospital.
There were no signs of forced entry into Kruger’s home and police believe the shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. Friday.
Davis was known to the police and was arrested several times. but police declined to elaborate further on their interactions with him, as reported by The Philadelphia Enquirer.
A law enforcement source told local investigators that the shooting was domestic in nature and that Kruger and Davis had been in a relationship.
He rose from homelessness and addiction to working on social media for his city’s Democratic mayor, James Kenney.
“Josh cared deeply about our city and its residents, which was evident in both his public service and his writing,” Kenney said, recalling Kruger’s years simultaneously running social media and the city’s homeless humanitarian efforts.
At the time of his death, Kruger was back in journalism, creating words for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper and more.
Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat who took office in 2016, said he is “shocked and saddened” by Kruger’s death, citing how the journalist worked for him as both a social media manager and head of the Office of Homeless Services the city.
“His intelligence, creativity, passion and humor shone brightly in everything he did – and his light was dimmed far too quickly,” Kenney added, revealing how Kruger left city government to focus on writing projects for news and matters he considered important.
At the time of his death, Kruger was back in journalism, spending the past two years creating words for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper and more.
One of those causes that the journalist often addressed was the prevalence of homelessness and drugs in urban environments – something he himself was all too familiar with before getting off the streets and back on the straight and narrow.
During his time on the streets, Kruger was diagnosed with HIV – a condition he had since overcome with medication and a healthier lifestyle.
The talented writer, several friends and officials added, was also openly gay and regularly wrote about displaced peoples on the margins of society.
Such work was not lost on Monday, as the city’s district attorney, Larry Krasner, remembered Kruger by praising his years of contributions to the city.
“As an openly queer writer who wrote about his own journey surviving substance abuse and homelessness…Josh Kruger has helped the most vulnerable and stigmatized people in our communities,” Krasner said.
Kruger won several awards for his poignant and often humorous style, and described himself on his website as a “militant cyclist” and “an advocate of the singular they, the Oxford comma and pre-Elon Twitter.”
His death is one of at least 330 homicides that have occurred in Philadelphia since the start of the year, according to publicly available Philadelphia police data.