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October 06, 2023

Police search for 19-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting journalist Josh Kruger

An arrest warrant has been issued for Robert Edmond Davis. Investigators say Kruger, 39, had been trying to mentor Davis

Investigations Shootings
Josh Kruger Suspect Josh Kruger PHL/Facebook

Journalist Josh Kruger, 39, was fatally shot at his home in Point Breeze on Oct. 2. Police have identified Robert Davis, 19, as the suspected gunman.

Philadelphia police are on the lookout for a 19-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting journalist Josh Kruger at his home in Point Breeze on Monday.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Robert Edmond Davis, authorities said Friday.

Kruger, 39, was shot seven times in the chest and abdomen around 1:30 a.m. at his home on the 2300 block of Watkins Street. When the gunman fled, Kruger went outside to get help from his neighbors. Officers found him on the sidewalk when they arrived at the scene. Kruger died at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center a short time later.

Police allege Davis was the intruder who fired at Kruger as he stood near the bottom of his stairs. 

At a press conference Friday, Police Lt. Hamilton Marshmond said Kruger and Davis were acquaintances, and that Kruger had been offering guidance to Davis.

"He was just trying to help him get through life," Marshmond said.

Police did not provide any other information about Davis or a suspected motive in the shooting. Davis was last known to be living on the 1600 block of South Ringgold Street, less than a mile from Kruger's home. He is described as 5-foot-5 and about 160 pounds.

Earlier this week, authorities said they had identified a person of interest in the shooting.

Kruger Robert DavisSource/Philadelphia Police

Philadelphia police issued an arrest warrant for Robert Davis, 19, in the fatal shooting of journalist Josh Kruger.


Kruger was an award-winning journalist and former city spokesperson who had worked in the Office of Homeless Services. He returned to freelance journalism in 2021 and had been writing for various publications including PhillyVoice, The Inquirer, WHYY, The Philadelphia Citizen and Philadelphia Magazine. Kruger also was an outspoken LGBTQ advocate who was open about his own experience living with HIV and his struggles with homelessness and addiction more than a decade ago.

In the weeks before Kruger was killed, he had posted on social media about suspicious incidents at his home. In an Aug. 29 post to Instagram, Kruger shared photos from a home security camera of a dark-colored Ram 1500 pickup truck. He wrote that the driver threw an object through his front window, describing it as "seemingly a targeted act."

In September, Kruger posted on Facebook about an unknown person who had entered his home in search of their boyfriend, the Inquirer reported Monday. That post is no longer publicly viewable on Kruger's Facebook page.

On Thursday night, a vigil was held in Washington Square at 11th and Pine streets.

"Kruger was a tireless journalist and advocate for those who too often go unheard: the homeless, those struggling with addiction, members of LGBTQ+ communities and more," the Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists said in a statement.

Philadelphia police said anyone with information about Davis' whereabouts can call (215) 686-8477. Tips also can be submitted anonymously online.