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Philadelphia Journalist Shot to Death Inside His Own Home



A noted Philadelphia journalist was killed overnight by an intruder who entered his two-story townhouse and shot him seven times “throughout the chest and abdomen,” authorities confirmed to The Daily Beast.

“The victim was identified as Josh Kruger,” Officer Shawn Ritchie, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD), said in an emailed statement.

A PPD incident report says the “homicide by shooting” occurred Monday at 1:28 a.m. inside Kruger’s home on Watkins Street. Paramedics transported the 39-year-old Kruger to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 2:13 a.m., according to the report. No weapons were recovered at the scene, and police have not made any arrests, it says.

Police responded to reports of gunshots and screams, and found Kruger lying in the street outside his house, Deputy Police Commissioner Frank Vanore told The Philadelphia Inquirer. Investigators believe Kruger was shot at the base of the interior stairs, then collapsed after running outside to seek help, according to Vanore.

“Either the [front] door was open, or the offender knew how to get the door open,” Vanore said. “We just don’t know yet.”

The motive for the shooting is unknown. However, Kruger had been threatened by an unknown woman who appeared at his front door two weeks ago, calling herself “Lady Diabla, the She-Devil of the Streets,” the Inquirer reported. She was looking for her boyfriend, who was someone Kruger had never met, Kruger wrote in a Facebook post.


Friends and colleagues were devastated to learn of Kruger’s death. One journalist who recently worked with Kruger told The Daily Beast they were still trying to fully process the news.

Kruger deftly balanced sensitive reporting with a rich sense of humor, and wrote on his website that he was proud that his work had “spurred government into action and shed light on communities and issues sometimes overlooked by traditional media.”

“Described as a ‘radical homosexual activist’ and an ‘effeminate man-child’ by critics, Josh Kruger is a writer and communications expert known for weaving his unique lived experience with homelessness, HIV, Philadelphia’s ‘street economy,’ trauma, and poverty throughout his commentary and writing,” Kruger’s bio read. “… He is a cat person and hates driving in cars, preferring to bicycle or ride trains.”

Kruger spent five years working as a City Hall spokesman and returned to journalism full time in 2021. His work appeared in the Inquirer, The Philadelphia Citizen, and LGBTQ Nation, among others.

The police investigation is ongoing.

Source: The Daily Beast


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