It’s only a matter of time before someone turns this into a movie. Five suspects have been arrested in connection with Lady Gaga’s dognapping case from last February, in which her dog walker Ryan Fischer was shot in the chest and two of her three French Bulldogs, Koji and Gustav, were taken.
A 50-year-old woman named Jennifer McBride turned in the dogs to authorities two days later. At that point, the case had gone viral, and Lady Gaga had offered a $500,000 reward for the dogs’ return. At the time, police didn’t identify the woman but said there was no reason to believe she was connected to the case. That’s where the plot thickens.
McBride was one of five suspects arrested on April 29. James Jackson, 18, Jaylin White, 19, and Lafayette Whaley, 27, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and robbery as they are believed to have been directly involved with the shooting and dognapping. Police note that all three are documented gang members.
White’s 40-year-old father, Harold White, was also arrested. As it turns out, he and McBride have a relationship, and police believe the pair were involved after the initial crime took place.
“Detectives do not believe the suspects were targeting the victim because of the dogs' owner. However, evidence suggests the suspects knew the great value of the breed of dogs and was the motivation for the robbery,” reads the official release.
“Harold White and Jennifer McBride were determined to be accessories after the initial crime. McBride reported that she found the dogs and responded to the reward email to return the dogs,” it continues. “She ultimately brought the dogs to LAPD Olympic Station. Detectives were able to establish McBride had a relationship with the father of one of the suspects, Harold White.”
All five people have since been charged. “This was a brazen street crime that left a man seriously wounded,” L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón added in a separate statement following the arrests. “We have alleged very serious charges in this case and have faith that justice will be appropriately served as this case unfolds in court.”
On February 24 Fischer was walking the dogs in Hollywood when he was shot in the chest. His attackers grabbed the two dogs and drove away, but left the third dog, Asia, behind. The pup stayed with Fischer, whose lung collapsed several times following the shooting, until help arrived.
“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,” Fischer wrote on Instagram March 1 from the hospital.
“I am humbled and grateful that attention and focus from the police were enough to get Koji and Gustav back to safety, and I know they are committed to bringing these criminals and attempted murderers to justice,” he continued in another post. “I am so appreciative of everything you continue to do.”
At time of press, Lady Gaga hasn’t responded publicly to the arrests. She is currently in Rome filming the upcoming Ridley Scott movie House of Gucci alongside Al Pacino, Salma Hayek, Adam Driver, Jared Leto and Jeremy Irons.
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