After Lady Gaga's dog walker shot in Hollywood, she offers $500,000 for dogs' return

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Christi Carras, Kevin Rector
·3 min read
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Lady Gaga singing into a golden microphone, wearing a black shirt and gold bird pendant
Lady Gaga sings the national anthem at the 2021 inauguration of President Biden. (Olivier Douliery / AFP / Getty Images)

Lady Gaga's dog walker is in the hospital after he was shot and two of the pop star's French bulldogs were stolen Wednesday night in Hollywood, The Times has confirmed.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division, a suspect armed with a semiautomatic handgun shot a single victim around 9:40 p.m. in the 1500 block of Sierra Bonita Avenue. The gunman later fled the scene, driving northbound on Sierra Bonita in a white vehicle, and the shooting victim was transported in unknown condition to a local hospital.

A pair of Gaga's French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav, were abducted, and The Times has confirmed that the "Shallow" singer is offering a $500,000 reward for their return, "no questions asked." TMZ reported that an email address, confirmed Thursday by The Times, has been set up for anyone with information about the dogs' whereabouts.

LAPD Capt. Jonathan Tippet, who heads the Robbery-Homicide Division, confirmed Thursday that the dog walker had been walking three dogs belonging to Gaga when two suspects jumped out of a white, four-door sedan.

The suspects took two of the animals, Tippet said, while a third "escaped and is back with the people that are taking care of them.” The dog walker, who police are not identifying, suffered one gunshot wound, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in stable condition and is expected to survive, he said.

The LAPD described the suspects as Black men in their early 20s who fled in a white Nissan Altima. The suspect who opened fire has blond dreadlocks, according to the police.

Detectives have no immediate leads, but Tippet said part of their investigation will be to determine whether the suspects knew the dogs belonged to the singer when they targeted them.

“We’re looking into that but right now we have nothing to show that that is the case,” he said. Police have been in contact with representatives for Lady Gaga, who are cooperating with the investigation.

Tippet declined to comment on the reward being offered by the singer’s camp for the return of the dogs. Rewards in police investigations are sometimes offered by law enforcement and affiliated groups like Metro Crime Stoppers in serious crimes like shootings, but usually in an effort to identify the suspects and bring them to justice. They can result in an uptick in tips and useful information for police, but can also bring about a deluge of false leads and misinformation.

According to TMZ, Gaga is in Rome working on a film. Per the Internet Movie Database, the "A Star Is Born" actress is rumored to be filming an action movie called "Bullet Train," also starring Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Zazie Beetz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Logan Lerman and Joey King. She is also attached to star opposite Adam Driver, Jared Leto and Al Pacino in another high-profile project about the murder of fashion mogul Maurizio Gucci, directed by Ridley Scott.

The shooting and theft come nearly a month after the "Poker Face" hitmaker performed the national anthem at the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington, D.C. Last year, she released her latest studio album, "Chromatica," along with the hit single "Rain on Me," featuring fellow pop phenom Ariana Grande.

As of Thursday morning, Gaga had not responded to the incident on her social media accounts.

The LAPD urged anyone with information about the crime to call Robbery-Homicide detectives at (213) 486-6840.

Times staff writer Matthew Ormseth contributed to this report.

Updates:
1:32 PM, Feb. 25, 2021: This post has been updated with information from LAPD Capt. Jonathan Tippet.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.