Philadelphia journalist was ‘just trying to help’ teen suspected in his murder, police say

A man identified as the suspect in the Monday killing of Philadelphia journalist and community advocate Josh Kruger knew the victim, police said Friday.

Robert Edmond Davis, 19, was identified as the “offender” in Kruger’s slaying and a warrant was issued for his arrest, Lt. Hamilton Marshmond said at a news conference Friday afternoon

Davis should be considered armed and dangerous, police said. Anyone who knows his location should contact authorities, they said.

The journalist, known for his advocacy for LGBTQ+ people, Philadelphians living on the streets, and people living with addiction, may have been counseling the teenager, police said.

“At this time we believe that Mr. Kruger was trying to help Mr. Davis, and they were acquaintances,” Marshmond said. “He was just trying to help him just get through life.”

He said the suspect might have been homeless at some point. Additional details about the relationship were unavailable.

Davis should be considered armed and dangerous, police said. Anyone who knows his location should contact authorities, they said.

Josh Kruger.
Josh Kruger. JoshKrugerPHL via X

Kruger, 39, was shot inside his home at 1:28 a.m. Monday. Police said he sustained seven gunshot wounds to the abdomen and chest.

It wasn’t clear how the shooter ended up in the victim’s home, which did not appear to have been breached before the attack early Monday, according to earlier statements from police. Marshmond said police don’t believe Davis had been staying at Kruger’s home at the time.

Security video reviewed by police showed Davis at the location early Monday, Marshmond said.

Asked about a possible motive, Marshmond indicated investigators were still unsure.

“As to the why, I do not know at this time,” Marshmond said.

Police have not had contact with the suspect since the murder, Marshmond said.

The lieutenant thanked the public as well as Kruger’s family and friends “for providing information and assisting the police department in this investigation.”

“Without the help of you all, we would not have been able to identify Mr. Davis so quickly,” he said.

The warrant for Davis includes charges of murder and related offenses.

“We are also asking Mr. Davis to surrender himself to the police. Our goal is to have Mr. Davis taken into custody in a safe manner for the public, our officers and himself,” Marshmond said.

The journalist was known in the community as a social justice advocate and had worked for Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration as a spokesperson for the Office of Homeless Services. He also wrote for various news outlets including The Philadelphia Citizen and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

At Friday’s news conference, Prosecutor Bob Listenbee read a statement from District Attorney Larry Krasner, which described Kruger as “an openly queer writer who wrote about his own journey surviving substance use disorder and homelessness.”

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