Suspect in Lady Gaga Dog Walker Shooting Released From Custody by Mistake

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One of the men suspected of being involved in the shooting and robbery of Lady Gaga's dog walker has mistakenly been released from jail, and now authorities are searching for him.

In a statement to ET, a spokesperson for the L.A. County Sheriff's Department says the department is investigating the inadvertent release from custody of James Howard Jackson. The spokesperson added, "Mr. Jackson was in custody for attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Lady Gaga's dog walker and the theft of two of the singer's French Bulldogs which occurred on February 25, 2021."

Furthermore, the spokesperson says Jackson, who attended court on Tuesday, was released from custody on Wednesday "due to a clerical error."

James Howard Jackson
L.A. County Sheriff's Department

As for the clerical error in question, a spokesperson for the L.A. County District Attorney's Office tells ET, "Mr. Jackson was arraigned on a superseding indictment filed in court under a new case number. The old case was then dismissed by a judge as required by law."

The department's spokesperson said its Major Crimes Bureau "is actively working to get Mr. Jackson back in custody." The department also released a booking photo of Jackson, which shows an identifiable tattoo on his neck.

In a statement posted on his Instagram account, Lady Gaga's dog walker and friend, Ryan Fischer, said that while he's deeply concerned with the events that led to Jackson's release, he's "confident law enforcement will rectify the error." Fischer also implored Jackson "to turn himself over to the authorities, so resolution to the crime committed against me runs its course."

Jackson was among five suspects arrested nearly a year ago in a case L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón described as "a brazen street crime." The arrest came two months after Fischer was shot while walking three of the singer's dogs on Feb. 24, 2021. Her dog, Asia, managed to escape and was later recovered by police, while her two other dogs, Gustav and Koji, were dognapped at the scene. 

Fischer was hospitalized and spent several days in the ICU before he was discharged in late March. He ended up requiring surgery to repair his lung, which had been severely damaged in the shooting. In an interview with CBS Mornings' Gayle King, Fischer recalled the horrific incident

"It was a severe one shot," he said. "And when I went back, because I had to go back to the hospital a second time to have the surgery because my lung had collapsed, the people in the ER who I'd seen that night told me that they didn't think I was gonna survive that night," he said. "And I had felt that, because I was very awake during, while they were operating on me that night. But just to hear them say it, it was, it makes it more real." 

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