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Thieves have shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and made off with two of her French bulldogs, a representative from her team has confirmed to People magazine.
The shooting took place in West Hollywood late on Wednesday night. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to The Daily Beast that a 30-year-old male victim was taken to a local hospital.
The dog walker was identified as Ryan Fischer by ABC7. He was reportedly alert and communicative while being treated at the scene, and is now recovering well, CNN reported Thursday.
The singer is “extremely upset” and is offering a $500,000 reward for the safe return of Koji and Gustav “no questions” asked, according to TMZ. A third dog, Asia, managed to escape and is now with a member of Lady Gaga’s team. Anyone with information is asked to email KojiandGustav@gmail.com.
Disturbing home security footage obtained by TMZ shows a white car pulling up alongside Fischer as he’s walking the three dogs. Two suspects swiftly jump out of the backseat and surround Fischer. One appears to brandish a gun and says, “Give it up.”
Fischer refuses and falls to the ground screaming “no” and “help me.” After wrestling with his attackers, he appears to get back on his feet and run away when a single shot rings out. He collapses, yelling that he has been shot in the chest.
The thieves hurriedly grab two of the yelping dogs before the sedan drives off. Asia, the dog that was left behind, runs over to Fischer.
“I’ve been shot,” he yells. “Help me! I’m bleeding out. They shot me in my [inaudible] heart. They stole two dogs. Oh my god. Please help me.”
Neighbors say they contacted 911 and rushed over to help. Even while injured, Fischer was concerned for the dogs, repeatedly stating they had been stolen and that they belonged to Lady Gaga.
TMZ noted Lady Gaga wanted the video to be released in hopes it would identify the thieves and safely bring home her pets.
The shooting began right before 10 p.m. ABC7 footage from the scene shows Fischer dressed in shorts lying on the pavement cradling Asia while first responders attended to him. Police were seen swaddling Asia in a blanket before Lady Gaga’s bodyguard retrieved the pet, reported TMZ.
Police are searching for at least one male suspect, who is believed to have used a semi-automatic handgun and was last seen fleeing northbound toward Hollywood Boulevard Avenue in a white vehicle.
The case is now being handled by the department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, which often oversees high-profile investigations. They are treating the case as an “assault with a deadly weapon,” a police spokesperson confirmed.
Lady Gaga is currently in Rome where she is filming Ridley Scott’s new movie Gucci. Her father Joe Germanotta described Fischer as a friend of the family.
“Our whole family is upset and praying Koji and Gustav are not harmed,” he told Fox News. He then pleaded for help to “catch these creeps,” adding “shooting someone in order to steal dogs is wrong.”
Officials said it was too early in the investigation to know if the dogs were specifically targeted in the attack. French bulldogs are very popular pets and puppies can cost as much as $10,000, depending on their pedigree.
Lady Gaga’s team was not immediately available for further comment.