Philadelphia police say they have a person of interest in journalist’s fatal shooting

Philadelphia police said Tuesday they had a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a local journalist.

Officials did not name the person or provide further details in the investigation into the death early Monday of Josh Kruger, 39. They said no arrests had been made.

Kruger, who wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Citizen and other outlets, was killed shortly before 1:30 a.m. Monday. Someone inside his home shot him seven times in the chest and the abdomen, police said.

Kruger was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:13 a.m., they said. The shooter fled.

Authorities said there was no sign of forced entry.

Kruger was a well-known voice for the underrepresented, including LGBTQ people in his community.

“He was loved by so many people,” friend Kendall Stephens said. “He didn’t deserve what happened to him. Someone could just barge in and kill you. And for what?”

Investigators were looking at neighbors’ doorbell video and were focused, in part, on Kruger’s complaints on social media about vandalism and harassment in his Point Breeze neighborhood in South Philadelphia.

In one case, someone went to Kruger’s door, police said.

His work covering LGBTQ people, homelessness and those underrepresented in media and government leadership, as well as his former position as the spokesperson for the city’s Office of Homeless Services, also could have made Kruger stand out to potential assailants.

“He made lots of friends and probably as many enemies,” friend Victor Fiorillo said. “But all for good reason — he was fighting the good fight, for sure.”

Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Monday that Kruger “cared deeply about our city and its residents, which was evident in his public service and writing.”

District Attorney Larry Krasner said Kruger deserved to write the end of his life’s story instead of having his time cut short.

“Josh Kruger lifted up the most vulnerable and stigmatized people in our communities — particularly unhoused people living with addiction,” he said in a statement Monday.

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