Lady Gaga’s dog walker delivered a powerful speech in court as the man who shot him was sentenced.
Ryan Fischer suffered serious injuries after being shot and left for dead while out walking two of Gaga’s dogs in California February 2021.
The French bulldogs, Koji and Gustavo, were stolen during the late night attack before later being returned to the 36-year-old singer.
On Monday, James Howard Jackson reportedly pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder.
According to ABC News, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Jackson was sentenced to 21 years in prison as a result of his plea. Jackson also admitted the allegation of inflicting great bodily injury and to a prior strike.
Jackson was said to have been one of three men and two accomplices who were involved in the theft of the dogs. He reportedly drove around Hollywood and other areas of California looking for French bulldogs, which can sell for thousands of dollars, but it’s thought they didn’t realise the dogs Fischer was walking belonged to Oscar-winning singer Gaga.
The gunman is said to have opened fire on Fischer near Sunset Boulevard and a nearby doorbell camera picked up the victim screaming: ‘Oh, my God! I’ve been shot!’, ‘Help me!’ and ‘I’m bleeding out from my chest!’
As Jackson’s sentencing was heard in court, Jackson delivered an emotional speech detailing the impact of the incident on his life.
‘You shot me and left me to die, and both of our lives have changed forever,’ Fischer said according to Rolling Stone.
He continued: ‘I do forgive you. With the attack, you completely altered my life. I know I can’t completely move on from the night you shot me until I said those words to you. [The dogs] were returned and returned to their mom. I don’t think I could have lived with myself if they died.’
In a statement, the LA District Attorney said: ‘The plea agreement holds Mr. Jackson accountable for perpetrating a coldhearted violent act and provides justice for our victim.’
A woman named Jennifer McBride returned the dogs several days after Gaga, real name Stefani Germanotta, offered a $500,000 reward.
Accomplice Harold White, who was in a relationship with McBride, pleaded no contest to a count of ex-convict in possession of a gun and will be sentenced at a later date in 2023.
White’s son Jaylin White pleaded no contest to second-degree robbery earlier this year and was sentenced to four years in state prison.
Fischer was rushed to hospital after the shooting for surgery on his lungs and was able to be saved by doctors. In March 2021, he was readmitted to hospital due to his lungs collapsing again.
Five months later, Fischer revealed he was homeless and struggling for money as he travelled the US to ‘heal his emotional and mental health’ in the aftermath of the shooting.