December 8, 2023

BREAKING: 19-year-old wanted for murder of Philadelphia journalist Josh Kruger

BREAKING: 19-year-old wanted for murder of Philadelphia journalist Josh Kruger


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An arrest warrant has been issued for 19-year-old Robert Davis in the murder of journalist and activist Josh Kruger, Philadelphia police said Friday. The arrest warrant includes charges of murder and related offenses.

Investigators believe Kruger and Davis were acquaintances, and Kruger was in the process of trying to help him. According to police, Davis appeared to be homeless at one point in his life.

“We are also asking Mr. Davis to surrender himself to the police,” Philadelphia Police Homicide Unit Lt. Hamilton Marshmond said.


Philadelphia Police Department

Police said Davis is known to the department but would not specify. 

Kruger, 39, was shot multiple times and killed shortly before 1:30 a.m. Monday in his home on the 2300 block of Watkins Street in Point Breeze.

“Mr. Kruger was trying to help Mr. Davis and they were acquaintances,” Marshmond said. “He was just trying to help him get through life.”

While Lt. Marshmond says it appears Davis may have been homeless for a time, Davis’ last known address puts him just a five-minute walk away from Kruger’s home. Police said they have video showing Davis in the area of the shooting.

But there’s still much they’re not releasing.

Investigators did not say what led to the deadly encounter or whether Davis broke into the home or was allowed inside. For the family and friends of Kruger, possibly the biggest question also remains unanswered, a motive.

“As to the why, I do not know at this time,” Marshmond said. Only Mr. Davis will be able to answer that.”

A freelance journalist and former communications director for the city’s Office of Homeless Services, friends and former colleagues mourning Kruger this week described him as a dedicated advocate for those in need.

He served as the communications director for the city’s Office of Homeless Services and also handled Mayor Jim Kenney’s social media for a period of time. 

The Philadelphia DA’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee said Kruger never stopped fighting for Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ community.

“Many of us knew Josh Kruger as a comrade who never stopped advocating for queer Philadelphians living on the margins of society,” the committee said in a statement. “His struggles mirrored so many of ours — from community rejection to homelessness, to addiction, to living with HIV, to poverty — and his recovery, survival, and successes showed what’s possible when politicians and elected leaders reject bigotry and work affirmatively to uplift all people.”

“He did not get to write his own story, so I think it’s important for all of us to remember who he was and take a piece of it with us,” a person at a vigil for Kruger in Washington Square on Thursday night said. 

Police said Tuesday they were pursuing a person of interest in the case.

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists released a statement on Kruger Thursday:

Journalist, advocate and NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists member Josh Kruger died earlier this week. Kruger was killed in his Philadelphia home on Monday in an act of tragic violence. The association recognizes his loss with sorrow and a profound sense of loss.

Kruger was a tireless journalist and advocate for those who too often go unheard: the homeless, those struggling with addiction, members of LGBTQ+ communities and more. He was known for writing frankly and humorously about living with HIV, and was open about his own experiences with homelessness and addiction. His work was published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, POZ Magazine and other outlets.

His legacy, characterized by his courageous reporting and advocacy, will undoubtedly endure, serving as an inspiration for those who continue to work tirelessly to promote transparency and social change. On behalf of the association, we extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and colleagues, and we honor the memory of a journalist whose dedication to his craft made a lasting impact on the communities he served.

There’s a $20,000 reward for an award that leads to an arrest and conviction of Davis.

If you know anything about his whereabouts, you’re urged to contact 911 right away. 

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