Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, two dogs stolen
Shooting victim expected to survive injuries, police say
Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot and two of the singer's French bulldogs were stolen in Hollywood during an armed robbery, police said on Thursday. Now, the pop superstar is offering half a million dollars as a reward for their return.
Gaga, whose recent performances included singing the national anthem at U.S. President Joe Biden's inauguration last month, has been in Rome filming a movie. Her three French bulldogs remained in Hollywood, The Daily Mail reported.
The outlet said Gaga's dog walker was walking the dogs on Wednesday evening when he was shot. He is expected to survive his injuries, according to Los Angeles Police Capt. Jonathan Tippett, commanding officer of the department's elite Robbery-Homicide Division.
The third dog, Miss Asia, escaped and was later recovered.
Police were initially called to North Sierra Bonita Avenue — a street off the famed Sunset Boulevard — around 9:40 p.m. PT Wednesday, following several 911 calls reporting a man screaming and the sound of a gunshot, said Capt. Steven Lurie, commanding officer of the department's Hollywood Division.
The victim was walking the dogs when a four-door sedan pulled over and two men tried to steal the animals.
"Two suspects exited the vehicle and demanded the victim turn over the dogs at gunpoint. The victim struggled with the suspects and was shot once by one of the suspects," a police statement said.
Video captured by the doorbell camera of a nearby home shows the white sedan pulling up next to the dog walker and two men in dark clothing getting out.
Although most of the action is hidden by a front-yard fence, it appears the men struggle with the shouting walker. One man then pulls out what appears to be a gun and a shot is heard before the men pile into the car and flee.
The walker cries "Help me!" and "I'm bleeding from my chest!" before someone runs to his aid.
Lady Gaga is offering a $500,000 US reward for the return of her dogs, whose names are Koji and Gustav. An email address — email@example.com — has been set up for tips on the dogs' whereabouts, while her representative said any information will be met with no questions asked.
Even before the kidnapping, the singer's dogs had a considerable spotlight. Gaga first set up an Instagram account for Miss Asia, the dog that escaped, in March 2015. The page has since gained over 220,000 followers, and regularly includes photos of all three dogs.
The French bulldog is a popular breed, and there has been a growing trend of the dogs, which can cost several thousand dollars as puppies, being stolen for resale or breeding.
In January, a woman was beaten at gunpoint in San Francisco before three men stole her grey French bulldog puppy. The woman similarly offered a "no questions asked" reward for the return of her dog, Chloe.
With files from CBC and the Associated Press