Ryan Fischer, the dog walker shot during a theft of two of singer Lady Gaga's French bulldogs last week, posted an update from his Los Angeles hospital room on Monday. Fischer shared two photos on Instagram, one of him looking unconscious, and one of him awake and sitting up.
In the captions, Fischer discussed the shooting and called Gaga's dog Asia, who stayed with him as he lay bleeding, an "angel."
He also wrote, "I will write and say more later, but the gratitude for all the love I feel from around this planet is immense and intense. I felt your healing support! Thank you. I am humbled and grateful that attention and focus from the police were enough to get Koji and Gustav back to safety, and I know they are committed to bringing these criminals and attempted murderers to justice."
Koji and Gustav were stolen when Fischer was shot during a violent street robbery on Wednesday night, but have been returned unharmed.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, a woman brought the dogs to LAPD's Olympic Community Police Station Friday around 6 p.m. PT, and Gaga's representatives were on hand to confirm they were the singer's pets. The woman's identity and the location where the animals were found will remain confidential due to the active criminal investigation and for her safety, police said.
It's unclear how the woman came to be in possession of the dogs, but law enforcement sources told TMZ they believe she's a Good Samaritan who was not involved in the theft of the animals.
What happened to Lady Gaga's dog walker?
On Wednesday night, a male suspect shot and wounded Fischer and stole two of her three French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav. The third dog, Miss Asia, wasn't taken. The theft happened in Hollywood at approximately 9:40 p.m. PT, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, and the suspect used a semiautomatic handgun and fled the scene in a white, four-door Nissan Altima.
A horrifying home surveillance video obtained by TMZ shows a man jumping out of a car and confronting Fischer, saying, "Give it up." The men struggle, and a shot can be heard, as can a dog's yelps and the panicked cries of the injured victim. "Help me, I've been shot. I've been shot," he screams as he lies on the ground. "Oh my god." A neighbor can be hard rushing to help Fischer.
Fischer is in stable condition with injuries described as non-life-threatening, according to a police statement Friday evening. Police describe the two robbery suspects as between 20 and 25 years old.
Lady Gaga's reaction to the crime
The singer herself is filming a movie in Italy (see below for more details), but on Friday, she spoke out about the attack for the first time, in an Instagram post.
"My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness," Lady Gaga posted, along with a photo of the dogs. She offered a $500,000 reward for the pets' safe return.
Gaga went on to praise the injured dog walker, writing, "I continue to love you Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family. You're forever a hero."
Why would someone steal French bulldogs?
In short, they're valuable and in demand. Puppies typically sell for between $1,500 and $3,000, but they can sell for far more. This isn't the first time French bulldogs, known as Frenchies, have been stolen. In November, two French bulldogs were reported stolen from the backyard of a residence in Daly City, just south of San Francisco. And just last month, a San Francisco woman reported being violently assaulted and having her 6-month-old French bulldog stolen.
French bulldogs have big ears, large square heads and compact muscular bodies. The American Kennel Club describes the breed as "one of the world's most popular small-dog breeds, especially among city dwellers. The Frenchie is playful, alert, adaptable, and completely irresistible."
Where is Lady Gaga now?
The performer is currently in Rome, filming the new movie Gucci, about the famous fashion family dynasty, and on Tuesday, she waved to bystanders there while making her first public appearance since the shooting. In the film, Gaga plays Patrizia Reggiani, Italian socialite and ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, the grandson of Gucci founder Guccio Gucci. Reggiani was tried and convicted of orchestrating her husband's assassination in 1995. Maurizio had two daughters with Reggiani, but he left her for another woman. Ridley Scott will direct the film, which is based on Sara Gay Forden's book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed.
Her fans have used the singer's social media accounts to express their sorrow about the attack.
The singer's father, Joe Germanotta, spoke to the New York Post.
"We're just sick over it, it's really horrible," Germanotta said. "It's like someone took one of your kids."
Gaga's famous friends rallied around her. Before the dogs were returned, actor Danny Trejo tweeted, "So sorry to hear about your dogs Lady Gaga, we got people out there looking for them."
Who is the injured dog walker?
According to the New York Post, Ryan Fischer, 30, recently relocated to Los Angeles from New York. One of his Instagram pages, Valley of the Dogs, features photos of what appear to be Gaga's dogs, as well as plenty of other canines. That's where he posted the update on his condition and thanked people for their support.