PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A journalist and advocate who rose from homelessness and addiction to serve as a spokesperson for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable was shot and killed at his home early Monday, police said.
Josh Kruger, 39, was shot seven times at about 1:30 a.m. and collapsed in the street after seeking help, police said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later. Police believe the door to his Point Breeze home was unlocked or the shooter knew how to get in, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. No arrests have been made and no weapons have been recovered, they said.
Authorities haven’t spoken publicly about the circumstances surrounding the killing.
“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 said in a statement.
Kruger handled social media for the mayor and communications for the Office of Homeless Services from about 2016 to 2021. He left city government to focus on writing projects for news outlets and progressive causes.
He wrote at various times for Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer and other publications, earning awards for his poignant and often humorous style.
On his website, he described himself as a “militant bicyclist” and “a proponent of the singular they, the Oxford comma, and pre-Elon Twitter.“
In a statement Monday, District Attorney Larry Krasner praised Kruger’s contributions to the city.
“As an openly queer writer who wrote about his own journey surviving substance use disorder and homelessness, … Josh Kruger lifted up the most vulnerable and stigmatized people in our communities — particularly unhoused people living with addiction,” Krasner said. “Josh deserved to write the ending of his personal story.”