Man arrested for murder of openly gay journalist Josh Kruger

A closeup photo of a 'police line do not cross' label

A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of openly gay Philadelphia journalist Josh Kruger, who was fatally shot seven times in his home earlier this month.

Local police have arrested 19-year-old Robert Davis for allegedly killing Kruger, after he spent two weeks on the run.

Speaking to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Davis’s mother Damica Davis shared that her son eventually returned to his family home by climbing through a window, and asked his brothers for help.

She said her son appeared to be having some sort of mental breakdown, fearing the potential charges he could be faced with. 

Police tape
A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of openly gay Philadelphia journalist Josh Kruger. (Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Davis’s older brother Jaylin Reason told the publication that he appeared to be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. When he tried to calm his brother down, Reason says that he and Davis got into a fight.

Davis’s family then decided that the best thing for him would be to help him turn himself into the police.

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“I didn’t want him to keep living outside and going around and doing something to put himself in a deeper hole,” Reason told the paper.

On Thursday (26 October), Davis was slapped with a number of charges, including murder, illegal gun possession and tampering with evidence.

Davis had been identified as a suspect in Kruger’s murder within days of the journalist’s death.

Through his journalism, Kruger had built a platform, with which he advocated for the most vulnerable people in his community, particularly homeless people, those living with addiction, and people in the LGBTQ+ community.

Kruger had personal experience with homelessness, HIV, trauma, poverty, and Philadelphia’s “street economy,” all of which he covered in his work for publications like The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Citizen, and LGBTQ Nation.

Davis’s mother Damica has alleged to local media that her son was also a victim.

Both she and Reason claim that Davis had a relationship with Kruger when Davis was just 15 years old and Kruger was an adult.

They have suggested that Davis’s life slowly started to fall apart as he tried to keep his relationship with Kruger and subsequent drug addiction under wraps.

In recent interviews, Damica has alleged that Kruger had been blackmailing her son, threatening to post explicit videos of him online.

A preliminary hearing for Davis has been scheduled for 13 November.