Jonathan Krueger
Jonathan Krueger, 22, was shot and killed in the early hours of 17 April in a suspected robbery gone wrong.Jonathan Krueger Facebook

Two Lexington men have been arrested in connection to the shooting and murder of 22-year-old University of Kentucky student Jonathan W Krueger. Krueger was shot in the chest early on 17 April as he walked home from a party.

Krueger was walking with a friend near Transylvania Park when he was shot multiple times at around 2:07am in a robbery that went awry, police said. According to his friend who was with him, a minivan pulled up and confronted the two. The friend, who was not identified, escaped and called police.

The university junior was found by police lying on the street and taken to UK Chandler Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 2:35am, Fox19 TV reported.

The suspects, identified as 18-year-old Justin D Smith and 20-year-old Efrain Diaz were charged with murder and robbery, the Associated Press reported. Smith was additionally charged with tampering with evidence and evading police.

Both men denied killing Krueger in comments and a video shared by the school newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel.

"We've updated the family on our investigation and our thoughts and prayers are with them," Police Chief Mark Barnard told reporters.

Krueger, an Ohio native, was a communications major and photo editor at the university newspaper, according to the AP. He was also a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Friends and newspaper colleagues expressed their disbelief over the loss of their friend.

"This feels like a nightmare; it feels like everything has gone wrong," Krueger's friend Adam Pennavaria told the AP. "He is the last person I would have ever thought something like this would happen to."

Krueger's family said that it was devastated and requested privacy.

In a statement released on the university's website, UK President Eli Capilouto urged students to be vigilant and to be "each other's keeper." Capilouto added, "It is also in a moment like this that we are reminded of how fragile and precious life is."

The Kentucky Kernel, is hosting a vigil for Krueger on 20 April at 8pm at the university's Memorial Hall, the AP reported.

A scholarship fund in Krueger's name was announced by the Kentucky Kernel. In a statement posted on Facebook, Kernel Press revealed that once they raise $10,000 (£6,691.22), "An annual endowed scholarship will be awarded by the Kernel Board to a promising Kernel photographer."