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Freelance journalist Josh Kruger was shot Oct. 3 in his Philadelphia home. He covered LGBTQ+ issues, homelessness and substance abuse, not Hunter Biden.
The ABC News headline in this post was doctored.
A misleading social media post promotes what appears to be a news story that says a journalist covering Hunter Biden has been shot and killed.
"Journalist covering the Hunter Biden case dies after being shot 7 times in his home; no arrests made," read what looked like an ABC News headline featured in an Oct. 3 TikTok video that garnered thousands of social media interactions.
The headline, however, is fake.
(Screenshot of TikTok)
TikTok identified this video as part of its efforts to counter inauthentic, misleading or false content. (Read more about PolitiFact's partnership with TikTok.)
On Oct. 2, ABC News posted a story headlined, "Philadelphia journalist shot and killed in his home; no arrests made." The story is about the fatal Oct. 2 shooting of Josh Kruger, a former city of Philadelphia employee and freelance journalist. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he was shot multiple times in his home. On Oct. 6, police issued a warrant for the arrest of 19-year-old Robert Davis.
Several news outlets have reported that Kruger’s writing focused on LGBTQ+ issues, homelessness, and substance abuse issues — not Hunter Biden. In a review of Kruger’s published writing, PolitiFact did not find any articles about Hunter Biden; Kruger did occasionally comment on Hunter Biden on his social media.
We found no ABC News story with this headline. Mark Osborne, the ABC News editor whose byline appeared in the TikTok screengrab, confirmed to PolitiFact that he never published a story with that headline.
ABC News has posted several stories about Kruger’s death with headlines such as "Slain Philadelphia journalist Josh Kruger allegedly shot by 19-year-old he was 'trying to help': Police," and "Journalist who advocated for homeless and LGBTQ+ communities shot and killed at home."
Fake or edited headlines are a common way to spread misinformation, so always double check a trusted news source.
We rate the claim that an ABC News headline said Kruger died after covering Hunter Biden False.
PolitiFact Researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.
Email interview with Mark Osborne, Senior Breaking News Editor at ABC News, Oct. 6, 2023
ABC News, "Philadelphia journalist shot and killed in his home; no arrests made," Oct. 2, 2023
Associated Press, "Philadelphia journalist who advocated for homeless and LGBTQ+ communities shot and killed at home," Oct. 2, 2023
The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Police identify person of interest in killing of local journalist Josh Kruger," Oct. 3, 2023
The New York Times, "Philadelphia Journalist Is Killed in His Home," Oct. 2, 2023
The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Local journalist Josh Kruger fatally shot inside Point Breeze home," Oct. 2, 2023
CNN, "Philadelphia journalist and advocate Josh Kruger shot and killed at home," Oct. 2, 2023
NBC News, "Philadelphia journalist fatally shot in his home," Oct. 2, 2023
PolitiFact, "Doctored Military Times news headlines spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccine," Aug.18, 2021
PolitiFact, "The man behind the Nashville bombing was killed in the blast. No news outlet said he died from COVID," Dec. 29, 2020
PolitiFact, "No, this isn’t a real Vox headline about ‘racist’ shoe-tying methods," November 30, 2021
X Search,"Posts by @JoshKrugerPHL and Hunter Biden," accessed Oct. 6, 2023
ABC News, "Police issue arrest warrant for 19-year-old acquaintance in death of Philadelphia journalist," October 6, 2023
ABC News, "Slain Philadelphia journalist Josh Kruger allegedly shot by 19-year-old he was 'trying to help': Police," Oct. 6, 2023
ABC News, "Journalist who advocated for homeless and LGBTQ+ communities shot and killed at home," Oct. 2, 2023
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