Federal authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information about the man who allegedly shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker in Hollywood last year and stole two of the pop star’s French bulldogs. He was released by mistake in April and remains missing.
James Howard Jackson, 19, was one of five people arrested in connection with the February 2021 violent robbery. He was facing an attempted murder charge when he was released from Los Angeles County Jail” due to a clerical error”.
Detectives don’t believe the thieves initially knew the dogs belonged to the pop star, who was in Rome filming a movie at the time. The motive was supposed to be the value of French bulldogs – which can run into the thousands of dollars. The dogs were later returned by a woman who claimed to have found them; she was later arrested and found in a relationship with the father of another suspect.
The U.S. marshals, in a statement Monday, said Jackson should be considered armed and dangerous. The reward is for the information that leads to his arrest. Authorities previously said Jackson was a documented gang member, but did not provide additional information.
Representatives for Lady Gaga did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday.
Dog walker Ryan Fischer was with Lady Gaga’s three dogs – named Asia, Koji and Gustav – in Hollywood just off famous Sunset Boulevard when he was attacked.
Video from the doorbell camera of a nearby house shows a white sedan stopping and two men jumping out. They got into a fight with Fischer and one of them pulled out a gun and fired a single shot before fleeing with two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav. The video captured Fischer shouting, “Oh my God! I was shot! and “Help me!” and “I’m bleeding from my chest!”
Fischer – who was shot in the chest with a bullet from a .40 caliber handgun – previously called the violence “very close to death” in social media posts.
Lady Gaga offered a $500,000 reward – “no questions asked” – for being reunited with the dogs at the time. It was not immediately clear whether the singer would also contribute to a reward for Jackson’s arrest.
In April, prosecutors filed a superseding indictment charging Jackson – who was already in custody – with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and assault with a semi-automatic firearm.
The move was made “to expedite the court process” and Jackson was arraigned under a new case number, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said in a statement at the time.
“Mr. Jackson was later released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. We don’t know why they did so,” the statement read.
Sheriff’s Department officials and marshals did not immediately return requests for additional information Wednesday.