Gunman Who Shot Lady Gaga’s Dog Walker Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison

James Howard Jackson shot Ryan Fischer in 2021 before stealing two of Gaga's French bulldogs

lady gaga dog walker gunman prison
Lady Gaga with her bulldogs, photo via Instagram

    James Howard Jackson, the man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, in 2021 before making off with two of her French bulldogs, was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

    Jackson, 20, pleaded no contest to attempted murder with great bodily injury in a Los Angeles courtroom December 5th. In a last-minute plea deal, the gunman admitted to a prior strike, allowing prosecutors to drop related robbery and weapons charges.

    In February 2021, Jackson and two associates confronted Fischer, 41, on a Hollywood street and demanded he turn over Gaga’s three French bulldogs. The men were not aware that the dogs belonged to the pop star, but knew they were of a rare and expensive breed. When Fischer refused to give them the dogs, Jackson shot him with a .40-caliber handgun at close range. The bullet punctured Fischer’s lung when he attempted to grab Koji, one of the dogs, before exiting through his back.

    Fischer said the shooting was an “earth-shattering event” in a victim’s impact statement provided in court (per Rolling Stone). “You shot me and left me to die, and both of our lives have changed forever,” Fischer told Jackson, claiming to have suffered “lung collapse after lung collapse,” physical therapy, and “loss of career, friendships, aimlessly traveling the country,” and rising debt as a result of the attack.


    Fischer fought his assailants, but Jackson and his associates managed to steal two of the three dogs, Gustav and Koji, while Asia escaped and was later returned by police. Lady Gaga offered a $500,000 reward for the dogs after the attack, and a woman named Jennifer McBride ultimately returned Gustav and Koji after finding the dogs tied to a pole.

    Back in August, one of the men involved in the dognapping, Jaylin Keyshawn White, was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the armed robbery. White’s father, Harold, and McBride were charged as accessories in the case after they were linked to the defendants.

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