Independent Philadelphia journalist who mocked violent crime surge shot and killed

 October 3, 2023

Independent Philadelphia journalist Josh Kruger who mocked predictions of a violent crime surge was shot to death in his home early Monday morning.

Kruger was shot seven times and made it out to the street in front of his home seeking help before collapsing, according to the Associated Press.

He was transported to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where he was pronounced dead around 2:15 a.m.

The investigation

Police think the person who shot Kruger either knew how to get into his house or that the door was unlocked, since there were no signs of forced entry.

No arrests have been made, and police are still reviewing surveillance footage from outside the home.

Sources said that police are looking at the possibility that it was a domestic incident or that it was drug-related.

The sources revealed that disturbing text messages between Kruger and a former partner were uncovered, and that methamphetamines were found in his home.

Kruger was openly queer and HIV-positive, and had been homeless for periods of his life previously. He had recently written about disturbing incidents at his home, including a former partner breaking in, a rock being thrown through the window, and a woman he didn't know threatening him, according to the Inquirer.

"Light dimmed much too soon"

Kruger wrote for the Philadelphia City Paper, the Philadelphia Weekly, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Philadelphia Citizen.

He used his experiences with poverty, homelessness, and being on the fringes of society to inform his writing.

“He knew he had a story to tell,” Randy LoBasso, who worked with Kruger at Philadelphia Weekly, said. “He knew his past trauma could be used to help his audience see a situation in a way that no one else could show it to them.”

Prior to his journalism career, Kruger, who was 39, worked for the city of Philadelphia helping with social media for the mayor and communications for the Office of Homeless Services.

Mayor Jim Kenney (D) released a statement about Kruger's death, saying, “Josh cared deeply about our city and its residents, which was evident both in his public service and his writing. His intelligence, creativity, passion, and wit shone bright in everything that he did — and his light was dimmed much too soon.”

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