A friend of a Philadelphia journalist who rose from couch surfing to working for the mayor and penning impassioned essays on the city’s most critical social concerns has been charged with murder.
Josh Kruger, 39, was shot and died at his Philadelphia home on October 2. Robert Edmond Davis, 19, has been charged with murder, weapons counts, and other connected offenses. Authorities claim they have video of Davis in the neighborhood of Kruger’s home shortly before the shooting, and so a warrant was issued for him four days after the incident.
On Wednesday night, police went to Davis’s residence in South Philadelphia and made an arrest. Authorities have stated that they have no idea what motivated the murder but that they know the victims were in a relationship.
As of Thursday, it was unclear whether Davis hired legal representation.
In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, his mother, Damica Davis, said, “If he did kill Kruger, there’s no explanation,” adding, “I feel like my kid is a victim in this, as well.”
According to the police, Kruger was shot seven times at 1:30 a.m. and later fainted in the street while calling for help. A medical examiner pronounced him dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
City Hall and those who shared his passion for the issues he championed (addiction, homelessness, HIV and LGBTQ+ activism, journalism, bicycling, etc.) were hit hard by the news of his death.
Three years after he slept outside a law firm near Rittenhouse Square, he wrote in a piece for The Philadelphia Citizen, “When people don’t recognize your humanity, you begin to question it yourself.”
Most recently, he wrote about the city’s collective grief following the unexpected death of Temple University’s acting president JoAnne Epps last month and called City Council members “cowards” for their vote to ban supervised injection sites throughout most of the city.
From 2016 until 2021, the deceased was responsible for the mayor’s social media and the Office of Homeless Services communications. He quit his job in city hall to devote more time to writing.
He has won numerous honors for his insightful and frequently amusing essays.