Lady Gaga’s dog handler spoke to CBS Mornings in an exclusive interview on Friday to remember the night he was shot and the singer’s two dogs were stolen.
Ryan Fischer, who is said to be from Cincinnati, spoke to co-host Gayle King and shared his experience.
In February, Fischer was shot dead while walking the singer’s three French Bulldogs in Los Angeles, California.
When the car pulled up during the routine drive he had been making for over six years, Fischer said there was “no doubt” that the car was for him.
“I had the feeling when they showed up and pulled the gun on me that I would be shot in the end,” said Fischer. “In my opinion, there is no way I would fight for these dogs.”
A surveillance video from a neighboring house showed Fischer repeatedly yelling for help as he tried to fend off the suspects. The fight escalated before a suspect shot him with a semi-automatic pistol.
He was shot once above his collarbone with the bullet piercing his lungs.
He later had to return to the hospital a second time due to a collapsed lung, and told King that the emergency room medical staff told him they didn’t think he would survive after the initial shooting.
“I was very awake when they operated on me that night, but just hearing them say makes it more real,” said Fischer.
The upper third and part of his lower right lung were eventually removed.
More: Ryan Fischer, Lady Gaga’s dog handler in Cincinnati ties, tells the story from the hospital
The men stole two of Gaga’s French bulldogs, Gustav and Koji. Two days later, the animals were recovered unscathed after a woman who appeared “uninvolved and unrelated” to the armed robbery brought them back to the LAPD Olympic Community Police Station, Los Angeles Police Chief Jonathan Tippett said.
Lady Gaga had offered a reward of $ 500,000 for the dogs to return safely.
Five people were later arrested and charged with the crime. James Jackson, Jaylin White and Lafayette Whaley are the suspects allegedly implicated in the robbery on charges of attempted murder, conspiracy to robbery and second degree robbery.
Two others, Jennifer McBride and Harold White, have both been charged as an accessory to attempted murder.
Police confirmed that McBride was the woman who returned the stolen dogs.
While he was recovering, Fischer said he stayed at Lady Gaga’s house for a few months while his family and trauma therapists were flown out to help. He has “very good relationships” with the singer.
Fischer founded GoFundMe to raise funds for a road trip to support his physical and mental health after the shooting.
“LG is very supportive of my journey right now,” he said, attributing his Catholic upbringing to giving up possessions and wanting to contribute to society.