The Los Angeles Police Department has arrested five suspects allegedly involved in the Feb. 24 shooting of Lady Gaga’s dogwalker and the kidnapping of her two French bulldogs.
Three of the suspects — James Jackson, 18; Jaylin White, 19; and Lafayette Whaley, 27 — have been charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree robbery, according to prosecutors. According to police, the three are documented gang members who targeted the bulldogs because they knew of their high value. They were not aware that Gaga was the owner, the police said.
Two additional defendants — Harold White, 40, and Jennifer McBride, 50 — are accused of acting as accessories after the fact. McBride is said to have returned the dogs to the police two nights later, prompted by the offer of a $500,000 reward. She was in a relationship with Harold White, who is Jaylin’s father, the police said. Harold White is also a gang member, police said.
Detectives served a search warrant and made the arrests on Tuesday. The charges were filed on Thursday. The five suspects pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Thursday afternoon.
The dogs — Koji and Gustav — were brought unharmed to LAPD’s Olympic station. The dogwalker, Ryan Fischer, was shot once but survived.
Jackson is accused of being the gunman, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. In addition to the main charges, he also faces charges of assault with a firearm and possession of a concealed firearm in a vehicle.
“This was a brazen street crime that left a man seriously wounded,” said District Attorney George Gascón in a statement. “We have alleged very serious charges in this case and have faith that justice will be appropriately served as this case unfolds in court.”
McBride was also charged with receiving stolen property, and Harold White was accused of gun possession.
At the arraignment, bail was set at $3,030,000 for Jackson, $1,050,000 for Jaylin White, and $1,100,000 for Whaley. McBride’s bail was set at $10,000, with the provision that she wear an ankle monitor. Her attorney said that she is diabetic and had not been receiving her insulin while in custody, and asked that she be allowed to report to her job at Universal Waste Systems. Harold White’s bail was set at $35,000. They were ordered to return on May 11 for a preliminary hearing.
Fischer was walking the dogs near the intersection of Sierra Bonita Avenue and Sunset Boulevard around 9:40 p.m. when he was accosted by the armed robbers. Surveillance video, obtained by TMZ, showed Fischer struggling with the two men before being shot and collapsing to the sidewalk. The men grabbed the dogs and fled in a white Nissan Altima. A third dog was not taken.
Lady Gaga, who was filming “House of Gucci” in Italy at the time of the attack, posted the $500,000 reward in a message on Instagram.
“I continue to love you Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family,” she wrote. “You’re forever a hero.”
Fischer posted photos from his hospital bed after the dogs were recovered, thanking the first responders and those who had sent well wishes. To Lady Gaga, he wrote: “Your babies are back and the family is whole… we did it! You have shown so much support throughout this whole crisis to both me and my family.”