Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog walker and the theft of her two French Bulldogs.
Three of the suspects — James Jackson, 18; Jaylin White, 19; and Lafayette Whaley, 27 — have been charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, and second-degree robbery, according to Variety. Police said they targeted the bulldogs because of their high value and were unaware that Gaga was the owner.
Jackson is accused of being the gunman and faces additional charges of assault with a firearm and possession of a concealed firearm in a vehicle. The two other suspects — Harold White, 40, who is the father of Jaylin, and Jennifer McBride, 50 — are accused of acting as accessories after the fact. McBride is also charged with receiving stolen property, and Harold is accused of gun possession.
Gaga announced a $500,000 reward for the return of the dogs and McBride responded by turning the dogs in two days after the theft. At the time, Los Angeles Police said the woman had found the dogs and “reached out to Lady Gaga’s staff to return them.” Captain Jonathan Tippet told The Associated Press that McBride appeared to be “uninvolved and unassociated” with the attack.
Jackson, Jaylin, Whaley, and Harold are believed to be gang members. McBride is reportedly in a relationship with Harold.
The arrests were made on Tuesday and charges were filed on Thursday. All five suspects pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Thursday.
“This was a brazen street crime that left a man seriously wounded,” said District Attorney George Gascón in a statement. “We have alleged very serious charges in this case and have faith that justice will be appropriately served as this case unfolds in court.”
Ryan Fischer was walking three of Gaga’s bulldogs in a residential area in Hollywood in February when a car pulled up alongside them and the suspects reportedly demanded he turn over the animals, police said in a statement. The dog walker was shot once by the assailants, who drove off with two of the dogs, Gustavo and Koji, but the third, Asia, escaped.
In an Instagram post, Fischer recalled how Asia stayed by his side as he lay on the sidewalk with blood pouring from his gunshot wound.
“My panicked screams calmed as I looked at her, even though it registered that the blood pooling around her tiny body was my own,” he wrote. “I cradled Asia as best I could, thanked her for all the incredible adventures we’d been on together, apologized that I couldn’t defend her brothers, and then resolved that I would still try to save them … and myself.”
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