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Five charged in shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog walker

Lady Gaga at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala in 2019KARSTEN MORAN/NYT

Five people have been arrested and charged in connection with a violent attack in February in which a man who was walking Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs in Hollywood was shot and the dogs were stolen, the Los Angeles police said on Thursday.

The police said that an investigation had revealed that James Jackson, 18, Jaylin White, 19, and Lafayette Whaley, 27, were involved in the robbery and shooting of the dog walker.

Detectives do not believe the men were targeting the dog walker because of the dogs’ owner, the police said. Evidence, however, suggests that the men knew that the dog breed was valuable and that this was the motivation for the robbery, according to the police.

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The police said that two others who were arrested and charged — Harold White, 40, and Jennifer McBride, 50 — were found to be accessories after the shooting. McBride reported that she found the dogs and responded to a reward email to return them.

Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, had offered a $500,000 reward for the safe return of the dogs, which are named Koji and Gustav. “My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness,” she wrote on Instagram not long after the attack.

McBride ultimately took the dogs to the Los Angeles Police’s Olympic Station.

It was not immediately clear if the five people who were arrested had lawyers.

The police said that Jackson, Jaylin White and Whaley had been charged with one count each of attempted murder and robbery. Harold White and McBride were charged with one count each of being accessories to attempted murder, the police said.

The Feb. 24 shooting took place around 9:40 p.m. local time as the dog walker was walking north on Sierra Bonita Avenue in Hollywood, according to the Los Angeles police.

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According to surveillance video from a nearby home, the dog walker, Ryan Fischer, was on a sidewalk, which was partly obscured by a fence, as a white car pulled up next to him.

Two men got out of the car and tussled with Fischer. He screamed repeatedly and moments later, a gunshot was heard. “Help me, I’ve been shot,” Fischer can be heard saying just after the car drove away. “I’ve been shot. Oh my God.”

Fischer, who was critically wounded in the shooting, recalled lying in a pool of blood and holding one of Lady Gaga’s dogs that had not been stolen in the attack.

“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,” he wrote on Instagram last month.

Fischer wrote last month that he was “still in recovery from a very close call with death” and “will write and say more later.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.