A journalist who previously served as the communications director for the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Office of Homeless Services was found dead inside his home earlier this week.
Breaking: Leftist journalist and activist Josh Kruger @JoshKrugerPHL has been tragically shot dead at his Philadelphia home. Kruger has long downplayed gun violence in his city and publicly chastised others who spoke about it. pic.twitter.com/pcl5c4Z1Y8
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) October 2, 2023
Reports indicate 39-year-old Josh Kruger was shot seven times early Monday morning in the city’s Point Breeze neighborhood. The disturbance alarmed a neighbor who said he could hear the dying victim’s pleas.
“Josh was calling for help and I called the police to make sure they’d come out for them,” said Jaz Brown.
Kruger was transported to an area hospital and was pronounced dead a short time later.
Authorities were still investigating the crime as of this writing, but initial updates indicate an intruder fired the shots from the bottom of the stairs and fled the scene. There was not an immediate arrest and the firearm had not been recovered as investigators continued to scan footage from nearby surveillance and security cameras.
Police said that the crime is being handled as a possible domestic or drug-related dispute, confirming that methamphetamine was discovered in Kruger’s bedroom and detectives found “troubling” messages between him and a former partner.
The victim was HIV-positive and had been an outspoken advocate for LGBT causes.
Mayor Jim Kenney, whose social media account was managed by Kruger during the latter’s work at City Hall, said that the victim “cared deeply about our city and its residence, which was evident in his public service and writing.”
The Democratic mayor added that his “administration was fortunate to call him a colleague, and our prayers are with everyone who knew him.”
Like many other Democratic-controlled cities across the country, Philadelphia has experienced a troubling uptick in crime over the past several years. Kruger has repeatedly downplayed and even mocked concerns about violence in the city via social media.
Earlier this year, he wrote: “Look, it’s that lawless land of liberals in Philly where shootings are … dropping to levels not seen in years.”
Two years ago, he ridiculed remarks by one unnamed “idiot” who compared the rate of gun violence to deaths caused by COVID-19.
“Folks, four times as many Philadelphians have died of COVID than gunshots this year,” Kruger wrote. “I understand math is hard but do better.”