Home surveillance footage caught the attack on video and captured the dog walker trying to fight off the suspects before the shot was fired.
Trigger warning: The story contains video footage of violence that might be distressing to some readers.
After being stolen by thieves in a violent scuffle, Lady Gaga’s two French bulldogs are back in safe hands after an unidentified woman brought the missing canines back to the LAPD’s Olympic Community Police Station.
"I can confirm that the dogs have been located and are safe," Los Angeles Police Captain, Jonathan Tippet told People.
The pop star's dogs were out on a walk with their dog walker, Ryan Fischer, when they were abducted at around 9:40 pm on Wednesday, February 24. At the time of the attack, Fischer was making his way down Sierra Bonita Avenue in Hollywood with Lady Gaga's three dogs, Gustav, Koji, and Miss Asia.
Home surveillance footage from the night captured a white color sedan stopping right next to Fischer while he was with the three dogs, and out of the vehicle came two armed individuals getting into an aggressive altercation with the singer's dog walker.
"No, no," Fischer can be heard pleading as the two individuals get physical with him. Moments later, the sound of a gunshot can be heard in the footage, as reported by CNN.
The two attackers rushed back inside the Nissan Altima with two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav, while Fischer was lying on the ground and shouting for help, holding Miss Asia in his arms.
Neighbors were seen trying to help Fischer, who was shot in his heart and his lungs. The dog walker was taken to the hospital and eventually reached a stable condition.
Officer Tippet was asked whether Fischer would make a full recovery, to which he replied and told People, "I believe he will."
As news of the incident broke out, Lady Gaga, who was filming in Italy for a movie, revealed that she was ready to pay $500,000 for the safe return of her dogs. Acknowledging Fischer's brave effort to fight off the attackers, the award-winning performer also said, "I continue to love you Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family. You’re forever a hero."
If you bought or found them unknowingly, the reward is the same. I continue to love you Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family. You’re forever a hero.— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 26, 2021
Devastated by the incident, Lady Gaga's father, Joe Germanotta, told New York Post, "We’re just sick over it, it’s really horrible. It’s like someone took one of your kids."
Having spoken to her daughter "several times" while the dogs were missing, Germanotta tried to console Lady Gaga by saying, "Just try to be strong and remember that they’re together."
"They’re comforting each other," the father told his distressed daughter.
On Friday, February 26, the LAPD was able to share some good news after the two bulldogs were brought in safe and unharmed by a woman at around 6 pm. In order to maintain the woman's safety, her identity was not revealed in the ongoing investigation, as reported by AP.
There were no details on how the woman found the two dogs, but Tippet said she seems to be "uninvolved and unassociated" with the violent attack and robbery that led to the dogs going missing.
The police department also gave an update on Fischer and wrote on Twitter, "The victim is listed in stable condition after the shooting, and his injuries were described as being non-life-threatening. LAPD Robbery Homicide Detectives will continue to investigate to ensure the persons responsible are ultimately arrested and brought before justice."
Since Fischer's wallet was not stolen, investigators believe that the armed robbers "intended to rob the individual of the dogs," Tippet told People. So far, the police have no reason to believe that the suspects knew about the bulldogs belonging to the sensational singer and actress. Tippet added that they are "probably individuals that recognize the value of the dogs," and investigators are yet to find whether the attack was random or spontaneous.
On the path to recovery, Fischer was praised for bravely trying to fight off the attackers and keep the dogs safe. His former client and friend, Dr. Fred Pescatore, said about the dog walker, "He would do anything for them, anything. He would protect these dogs with his life. And he almost has. And let's hope he has not."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Frazer Harrison / Staff