Sunday 8 October 2023

Philadelphia police say social justice activist was shot and killed by man he was trying to help

 Philadelphia police investigating the shooting death of a social justice activist said that he was murdered by a man he was trying to help.

Queer activist Josh Kruger, 39, was shot to death at his home at about 1:28 a.m. on Monday, according to police. He suffered seven gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen.  

Lt. Hamilton Marshmond told reporters in a media briefing that police had identified a suspect in the murder: 19-year-old Robert Edmond Davis. They have issued an arrest warrant for the man.

“At this time, we believe that Mr. Kruger was trying to help Mr. Davis, and they were acquaintances,” Marshmond said. “He was just trying to help him just get through life.”

He said they did not know what motivation Davis might have had for allegedly killing Kruger.

Kruger was known as a community activist for LGBTQ and homeless causes.

Police said that information from Kruger's friends and family aided in their identification of Davis as their suspect. 

WPVI-TV reported that drugs were found in Kruger's home and that he had extensive text message conversations with Davis, according to sources they spoke with.

"We are also asking Mr. Davis to surrender himself to the police. Our goal is to have Mr. Davis taken into custody in a safe manner for the public, our officers, and himself," Marshmond added. 

The district attorney's LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee released a statement praising Kruger for his advocacy.

"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," read the statement.

Marshmond said that Davis should be considered armed and dangerous, and anyone who may know his whereabouts should contact police.

Here's more about the murder of Kruger:

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