A week before Robert Edmond Davis allegedly murdered gay journalist Josh Kruger, he assaulted a man at a subway station in South Philadelphia in an unrelated incident, SEPTA police say.
Davis, 19, allegedly shot Kruger multiple times inside Kruger’s Point Breeze residence on Oct. 2. Davis fled the scene and Kruger died about 45 minutes later. Police say Davis and Kruger were acquaintances.
A week earlier, on Sept. 25, Davis allegedly assaulted a man at the Tasker-Morris subway station. Davis also fired a weapon inside the train station and fled the scene, according to SEPTA police.
On Oct. 25, Philadelphia police arrested Davis at his mother’s residence in Point Breeze. Davis remains incarcerated at the Curran Fromhold Correctional Center in Northeast Philadelphia. He’s represented by the Defender Association of Philadelphia.
Andrew Busch, a SEPTA spokesperson, released the following narrative of the subway-station incident allegedly involving Davis:
“At approximately 5 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 25, SEPTA Transit Police responded to a report of a gunshot fired at the Tasker-Morris Station on the Broad Street Line. Fortunately, no one was injured by the gunfire.
“According to the investigation, the incident started when the gunman approached another man on the platform. The gunman bumped into the man, and then physically assaulted him. When the man tried to defend himself, the gunman pulled out a handgun, fired a single shot, and fled the station. Shortly after the incident, SEPTA Police released a picture of the suspect to alert riders and ask for the public’s help identifying the suspect.
“SEPTA Police were continuing their efforts to identify and find the gunman when Philadelphia Police issued a warrant and picture of Robert Davis on Oct. 6, in the Oct. 2 murder of Josh Kruger. SEPTA detectives noted similarities in the picture PPD had of the suspect, and showed it to the victim of the Tasker-Morris attack. The victim identified the gunman as the same man who attacked him at the station. SEPTA Police issued a warrant on charges related to the Tasker-Morris Station shooting on Oct. 13. SEPTA Police will continue working in close coordination with Philadelphia Police as these cases move forward.”
In an interview with PGN, Busch said SEPTA police are confident Davis is the perpetrator of the subway-station assault.
“We’re absolutely confident that this is the right person, based on the information the victim provided and the video evidence and other evidence,” Busch told PGN.
Regarding the subway-station incident, Davis faces criminal charges including aggravated assault, firearms violations, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct.
Regarding Kruger’s death, Davis faces criminal charges including murder, firearms violations and tampering with evidence.
Published reports have conveyed that Kruger and Davis had a sexual relationship beginning when Davis was 15 years old. However, friends of Kruger have questioned that account. So far, no evidence has been submitted in a court of law to substantiate those allegations.
A preliminary hearing for Davis regarding Kruger’s death is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 13 in Courtroom 306 of the Criminal Justice Center, 1315 Filbert St. Municipal Court Judge Wendy L. Pew is scheduled to preside.
A preliminary hearing for Davis regarding the subway-station incident is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 9 in Courtroom 503 of the Criminal Justice Center, 1315 Filbert Street. Municipal Court Judge Bradley K. Moss is scheduled to preside.
Kruger, 39, was an award-winning journalist who was known for championing the downtrodden. From 2016 to 2021, Kruger handled social media for the mayor and communications for the Office of Homeless Services. He departed city government to focus on his freelance writing. Friends remembered him as a vivacious individual and devout Christian. He lavished care and devotion on his beloved cat Mason. Friends also said Kruger took great pleasure in restoring and decorating his Point Breeze row home.