Federal authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the re-arrest of the suspect who allegedly shot an individual who was walking pop star Lady Gaga‘s dogs. As Law&Crime previously reported, officials in Los Angeles County, California, accidentally released James Howard Jackson, 19, from jail back in April. Now, the U.S. Marshals Service is offering cash money for tips that successfully bring Jackson back into custody, and the feds are clearly in on the search.
Authorities describe Jackson as a Black man with black hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet and 6 inches tall; he weighs approximately 120 pounds.
“Jackson should be considered armed and dangerous,” the Marshals Service wrote. “Anyone with information as to his whereabouts should contact law enforcement immediately. Tips may be submitted via the USMS Tips app.”
[Warning: Video is disturbing]
As seen on surveillance footage, a white sedan approached dog walker Ryan Fischer on Feb. 24, 2021. Fischer had been walking three of the pop star’s three French bulldogs. Two people stepped out of the vehicle and struggled with Fisher while he called for help and attempted to save the dogs. One of the men — allegedly Jackson — opened fire, leaving behind an injured Fischer and one of the bulldogs. The dognappers took canines Koji and Gustav as they fled the scene.
“I’ve been shot,” Fisher said on video. “I’ve been shot. Oh, my God.”
My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago. My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness. I will pay $500,000 for their safe return. Email [email protected] to contact us. pic.twitter.com/3NY9u7Mw2K
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 26, 2021
“Jackson is alleged to have shot dog walker Ryan Fischer with a .40-caliber handgun while he was walking the three dogs in Los Angeles,” the U.S. Marshals said Monday. “Fischer sustained a through-and-through gunshot wound to his chest and was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.”
The dog-walker was hospitalized, and though police have described his injuries as not life threatening, he said doctors had to remove part of a lung after it kept collapsing.
Cops announced they arrested Jackson and four other people the following April. Jaylin White, 19, and Lafayette Whaley, 27, were arrested on one count each of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, and second-degree robbery. Harold White, 40, and Jennifer McBride, 50, were charged with being accessories to attempted murder.
“The investigation revealed that James Jackson, Jaylin White, and Lafayette Whaley were involved in the robbery and shooting of the victim,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a press release. “Detectives do not believe the suspects were targeting the victim because of the dogs’ owner. However, evidence suggests the suspects knew the great value of the breed of dogs and was the motivation for the robbery.”
According to cops, McBride claimed to have found the dogs, and she contacted a reward email to give them back to Lady Gaga. Officers said they learned, however, that McBride “had a relationship with the father of one of the suspects, Harold White.”
Prosecutors have reportedly said that Jackson’s accidental release from custody occurred when his initial charges were dismissed in lieu of a superseding indictment. Los Angeles NBC affiliate KNBC reported that the new indictment was not properly entered into the system against Jackson — and, thus, he was accidentally allowed to leave jail.
U.S. Marshals on Monday described the release as the result of a “clerical error.”
“While I’m deeply concerned at the events that led to his release, I’m confident law enforcement will rectify the error,” Fischer said in a statement back in April. “I ask for Mr. Jackson to turn himself over to the authorities, so resolution to the crime committed against me runs its course, whatever the courts determine that outcome to be. Thank you to everyone who is supporting me during this time.”
Aaron Keller contributed reporting.
[Images of Jackson via the U.S. Marshals Service; image of Lady Gaga by Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images.]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]