It’s been nearly two years since Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, suffered that brutal attack but he was vindicated on December 5. James Howard Jackson, the man who shot Fischer, accepted a plea deal and pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder, per AP News. The 21-year-old was then sentenced to 21 years in prison — but not before Fischer delivered a powerful impact statement, which he’s since shared on Instagram. Addressing his attacker directly, he began, “You shot me and left me to die, and both of our lives have changed forever.” He then shared how he often relives that fateful day and how difficult it’s been to cope with the pain and trauma of fighting for his life. However, the most poignant moment came when he forgave Jackson and everyone involved. “I know I can’t completely move on from the night you shot me until I said those words to you,” he reasoned.
In the end, investigators concluded that Jackson and the other assailants were unaware that the dogs belonged to Lady Gaga. Rather, they were looking to steal any French bulldogs because of their high value. As for the sentencing of the other attackers, AP reports that Harold White pleaded no contest to one count of ex-convict in possession of a gun (also on December 5) and will be sentenced next year. Meanwhile, Jaylin White and Lafayette Whaley previously pleaded no contest to robbery. As for the trial surrounding Jennifer McBride, i.e. the person who returned the dogs, that’s ongoing.