Suspect In Journalist’s Shooting Was Allegedly 15 When They Began Relationship Involving Drugs, Family Says

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Dana Abizaid Contributor
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Philadelphia police have accused Robert Davis, 19, of killing local journalist, Josh Kruger, after a man entered Kruger’s home and shot him seven times Monday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Davis, who remains at large and is considered “armed and dangerous,” was just 15 when he and Kruger allegedly began a relationship that ended with Davis reportedly shooting Kruger Monday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Davis told his family that Kruger had threatened to post sexually explicit videos of him online, police said.

In recent interviews with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Davis’s mother and older brother detailed an account they said was drawn from conversations with Davis and years of witnessing his life spiral as he attempted to keep his relationship with Kruger and drug addiction hidden, The Inquirer reported. (RELATED: Philly Journalist And Killed At Home, Weeks After ‘She Devil’ Man Allegedly Threatened Him)

Kruger was an openly queer 39-year-old freelance journalist and former city employee who wrote about LGBTQ+  topics, as well as drug abuse and homelessness, District Attorney Larry Krasner told ABC NEWS.

“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.

Davis’s family’s assertions come at the same time that detectives discovered what law enforcement sources said are explicit photos and messages in Kruger’s phone, The Inquirer reported. The sources, who requested anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, refused to say whether the “disturbing” images were related to Davis, according to the newspaper.

Davis’s mother said her son called on Friday and tried to explain himself. “He was scared,” she said. “He said ‘… [Kruger] wanted me to do some stuff I didn’t want to do and if I didn’t do it, he said he was going to blackmail me.’”

Although many city and state leaders shared statements praising Kruger’s work for vulnerable communities, police sources said he was concealing parts of his life and that meth was found in his bedroom, according to the Inquirer.

Police are currently investigating the connection between Davis and Kruger and “looking at every aspect of the case,” Deputy Police Commissioner Vanore said.

Davis’s mother said there are no excuses if her son did kill Kruger but that she also wants answers.

“It’s tragic what happened,” she said. “But I feel like my son is a victim in this, as well.”