Known homeless advocate and reporter in Philadelphia shot and killed in his home early Monday

Known homeless advocate and reporter in Philadelphia shot and killed in his home early Monday


Amaris Encinas
 USA TODAY

A Philadelphia based journalist was shot and killed in his home early Monday morning. 

Josh Kruger, a 39-year-old freelance housing reporter was shot seven times after a person with a gun entered his home in Point Breeze, a neighborhood in south Philadelphia just after 1:00 a.m.

When police arrived on scene, they found Kruger on the street near his home with multiple gunshot injuries, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. 

Kruger was transported to a local hospital, but died as a result of his injuries almost an hour later. 

Philadelphia Police Department detectives have speculated that someone entered Kruger’s home before shooting him at the base of his stairs. Kruger ran outside to get help from his neighbors after the shooter fled, police shared with The Inquirer. 

Authorities are still trying to determine whether the intruder knew how to get the door open or if the door was left unlocked since there were no signs of forced entry. No arrests have been made.

Two weeks before the shooting, Kruger wrote on Facebook that a stranger paid a visit to his home searching for their boyfriend. The person called themselves “Lady Diabla, the She-Devil of the Streets” and threatened him, according to The Inquirer. Detectives weren’t aware of any previous incidents at Kruger’s home but are actively investigating all angles.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office plans on assisting police with the investigation. 

“Josh Kruger lifted up the most vulnerable and stigmatized people in our communities — particularly unhoused people living with addiction. Josh deserved to write the ending of his personal story,” District Attorney Larry Krasner shared with the media outlet. 

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Kruger worked as a content director, spokesperson and communications director for the City of Philadelphia for five years before returning to journalism full time in 2021, according to Kruger’s website.

“Josh cared deeply about our city and its residents, which was evident both in his public service and in his writing. His intelligence, creativity, passion, and wit shone bright in everything that he did — and his light was dimmed much too soon,” Mayor Jim Kenney shared with The Inquirer. 

His experience with homelessness and addiction informed his work as both an advocate and a reporter, garnering awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association. 

Kruger’s work has appeared in numerous local publications like LGBTQ Nation, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Citizen and others. 

When Kruger wasn’t writing, he could be found cycling, attending services at St. Mark’s Church on Locust Street or hanging out with his older one tooth cat Mason, he wrote on his website.

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