Many of us have looked on the rise in urban crime with alarm. But Josh Kruger mocked those of us who said anything about it.
Perhaps he came to believe his own neighborhood was safe, and crime in his city was (at least for him) at a tolerable level.
Somehow that makes this story about his own climb out of a life of homeless and addiction even more tragic. As a journalist and activist, he could have been sounding the alarm as part of the solution.
Instead, he lived just long enough to become a cautionary tale.
Josh Kruger, a freelance journalist and former city employee, was shot and killed in his 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.
“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. — ABC
Police have no suspect, nor was any weapon was found in the home.
Someone on social media looked at Kruger’s own reaction to questions about Philly’s crime rate, as juxtaposed to his own disinterest in solving this problem, using it to respond to someone expressing the very same attitude.
— King Waffle (@WaffleusRex) October 2, 2023
The moral of the story?
There is danger in deciding there are ‘acceptable’ levels of crime so long as it is ‘contained’ to ‘those’ people in a some part of town other than your own.