| USA TODAY
Lady Gaga’s dog walker was shot late Wednesday and her two French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav, were stolen, USA TODAY has confirmed.
Around 9:40 p.m. in Hollywood, Calif., a man in his 30s was walking three dogs when a male suspect approached the dog walker and shot him, according to Los Angeles Police Department’s Officer Drake Madison. The victim, whose name has not been released, was walking the dogs when a four-door sedan pulled over and two men tried to steal the animals, Los Angeles Police Capt. Jonathan Tippett told the Associated Press.
Surveillance video from a neighboring house shows the dog walker repeatedly yell for help as he tried to fight off the suspects. The struggle escalated before one suspect wielding a semiautomatic handgun shot the dog walker.
It’s not yet known if both men were armed, Tippett said.
LAPD says the suspects stole the two bulldogs and took off in a white vehicle. Surveillance footage shows the victim pleaded he was “bleeding out” on the sidewalk while trying to flag down help. A third dog was left behind and later recovered.
LAPD Public Information Officer Tony Im confirmed to USA TODAY Thursday evening that the victim is now in stable condition after previously being listed as critical.
The “A Star Is Born” actress, who is currently in Italy filming a movie, is offering a $500,000 reward for the return of her two stolen dogs, Lady Gaga’s representative Amanda Silverman confirmed to USA TODAY. Those with information can email KojiandGustavo@gmail.com.
It’s not yet clear if the dog walker was targeted because of his celebrity client.
The harrowing event literally hit close to home for a fellow celebrity and dog lover, Rebel Wilson, who lamented the incident Thursday during a Television Critics Association Zoom panel for her upcoming ABC dog-grooming competition show, “Pooch Perfect.”
“That’s on my street, two blocks away,” Wilson said when asked about the overnight incident. “We were just talking about it, because it just happened two blocks from where I am right now and we’re just shocked, devastated. We hope everyone involved is all right. Coming from a dog-showing family, occasionally there were incidents with dogs and it would just be absolutely devastating. And we hope everybody is all right in that situation.”
Lisa Vanderpump, a “Pooch Perfect” celebrity judge who is active in dog-rescue efforts, said she is familiar with the kidnapped dogs and indicated she had been in touch with Lady Gaga’s circle, although she didn’t specify the person.
“It’s devastating. I spoke to them this morning,” she said. “I know those dogs personally and she worships those dogs. We have that in common.”
Lady Gaga has an Instagram account for one of her dogs, Miss Asia, where posts are shared regularly.
The “Chromatica” singer, 34, told USA TODAY in an interview last month she shares what many people are feeling during the pandemic: “an epic sense of powerlessness over what’s happening in the world.”
“We’ve encountered a super virus that is epic in its disastrous proportions,” she said. “So that feeling of powerlessness in some ways is, I think, something that we all share.”
The pandemic has energized her in other ways, though, adding that it has “really mobilized me to work on how I can help the world.”
Contributing: Cydney Henderson
Original posted at www.usatoday.com