Crime

Reward offered for Lady Gaga dog walker shooting suspect – and he’s ‘armed and dangerous’

Josh Milton July 20, 2022
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On the left: Lady Gaga in a camouflage jacket holding a French bulldog. On the right: Ryan Fischer, shirtless, sits upright on a hospital bed

Lady Gaga and her dog walker Ryan Fischer (R). (Getty Images/Screen capture via Instagram/@saintrocque)

A $5,000 reward has been offered after an “armed and dangerous” man who allegedly shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker was mistakenly freed by police more than three months ago.

James Howard Jackson, who faces charges including attempted murder and robbery, was “erroneously released from custody” in April because of a “clerical error”, the US Marshals Service announced on Monday (18 July).

Information that leads to the capture of the 19-year-old will result in a $5,000 award, the agency said in a news release.

“Jackson should be considered armed and dangerous,” the US Marshals Service said. “Anyone with information as to his whereabouts should contact law enforcement immediately.”

Dog walker Ryan Fischer was critically injured on 24 February 2021 after being shot in the chest four times. Jackson allegedly fired at Fischer with a 40-calibre handgun while he was walking Gaga’s three dogs in Los Angeles, California.

Jackson, along with Jaylin White, 19, and Lafayette Whaley, 27, then made off with two of Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs, prosecutors said. Harold White, 42, and Jennifer McBride, 51, were accused of being accessories after the shooting.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Major Crime Team has asked the US Marshals Service to help find and arrest Jackson.

Mugshots of James Howard Jackson
James Howard Jackson, who faces attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, and second-degree robbery charges, was released by police in April. (U.S. Marshals Service)

When news broke Jackson had been freed by police, Fischer released a statement calling for Jackson to turn himself in.

“While I’m deeply concerned at the events that led to his release, I’m confident law enforcement will rectify the error,” Fischer wrote on Instagram.

“I ask for Mr Jackson to turn himself over to the authorities.”

Jackson, White and Whaley stumbled onto Fischer, completely unaware the pups were owned by the singer, Los Angeles police said. They are said to have tailed him for some time before waiting for Fischer to walk down a quiet street and allegedly making their move.

Fischer was walking north of Sierra Bonita Avenue in Hollywood at around 9.40am when a White Sudan pulled up next to him. Surveillance footage from a nearby home shows the haunting moment two men left the vehicle and fought with Fischer, who can be heard screaming repeatedly.

He was then allegedly shot. Fischer was left on the pavement bleeding as his attackers are seen to make off with two of Lady Gaga’s dogs, Koji and Gustav. He was found by emergency services with the third dog, Asia, in his arms.

Fischer suffered a collapsed lung from the attack and had a bumpy road to recovery, with the top third of his lung removed as well as a section from the bottom. He later embarked on a months-long road trip to focus on moving forward.

Koji and Gustav were dropped off unharmed at a Los Angeles police station by McBride two days after the incident.

The five individuals connected to the incident were arrested in April 2021.

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