National

Philadelphia journalist shot and killed in his home; no arrests made

PHILADELPHIA — Josh Kruger, a freelance journalist and former city employee, was shot and killed in his Philadelphia home early Monday, according to local officials.

Police responded to his home at about 1:30 a.m. and found Kruger shot seven times in the chest and abdomen. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Kruger, who lived in the city's Grays Ferry neighborhood, was currently working as a freelance reporter, but was previously employed by the Philadelphia City Paper and Philadelphia Weekly. He had recent freelance bylines in the Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Citizen.

There have been no arrests in the shooting, police said. No weapon has been recovered.

"Josh deserved to write the ending of his personal story," District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement. "As with all homicides, we will be in close contact with the Philadelphia Police as they work to identify the person or persons responsible so that they can be held to account in a court of law. I extend my deepest condolences to Josh’s loved ones and to all those mourning this loss."

Kruger was openly queer, according to the district attorney, and often wrote about LGBTQ+ topics, as well as drug abuse and homelessness.

"Many of us knew Josh Kruger as a comrade who never stopped advocating for queer Philadelphians living on the margins of society," the district attorney's LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee added in a statement. "His struggles mirrored so many of ours -- from community rejection, to homelessness, to addiction, to living with HIV, to poverty -- and his recovery, survival, and successes showed what’s possible when politicians and elected leaders reject bigotry and work affirmatively to uplift all people."

Kruger also previously worked in communications for the city, first in the mayor's office and then for the Office of Homeless Services and Department of Health.

"Shocked and saddened by Josh Kruger’s death," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. "He cared deeply about our city and its residents, which was evident in his public service and writing."

He added, "Our administration was fortunate to call him a colleague, and our prayers are with everyone who knew him."

On his website, Kruger wrote he was an avid cyclist and lived "with his best friend, his senior cat with one tooth named Mason."

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