South Carolina man selling French bulldog fatally shot at meeting spot
SOUTH CAROLINA - A man selling a French bulldog was fatally shot in the parking lot of a South Carolina fast food restaurant, where he had arranged to meet the buyer, a sheriff said.
According to Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simon, Lonnie Alford Ray was selling the dog online and went to a parking lot near Interstate 20 in Bishopville to meet the buyer Monday night.
Instead, Ray was met by several men, who grabbed the dog’s leash and fired several shots, Simon said. Ray was shot and died a short time later, Simon said.
No arrests have been made, the sheriff said.
French bulldogs are considered a valuable breed and can sell for thousands of dollars.
A dog walker for Lady Gaga was shot and wounded by a man who stole one of her French bulldogs back in 2021.
James Howard Jackson, 20, pleaded no contest to the single count of attempted murder with great bodily injury, while also admitting a prior strike, in connection with the Feb. 24, 2021 attack on Lady Gaga's longtime dog walker, Ryan Fischer.
Jackson was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
In exchange for his plea to the attempted murder count, prosecutors dismissed charges of second-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and being a felon carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle.
Fischer was walking three French bulldogs belonging to the singer when he was shot. Two of the dogs were stolen in the 1500 block of North Sierra Bonita Avenue, near Sunset Boulevard.
Surveillance video from a home security system showed Fischer walking on the sidewalk when a white sedan pulled up and stopped in the street, with two people jumping from the back seat and saying, "Give it up."
A struggle ensued, and one gunshot was fired, prompting Fischer to fall to the ground, screaming. The assailants each grabbed one dog -- named Koji and Gustav -- and got back into the rear seat of the car, leaving Fischer on the ground yelling for help.
The singer's other bulldog, Miss Asia, ran back to Fischer on the ground after the assailants' vehicle disappeared from view.
Lady Gaga, who was in Italy filming a movie at the time of the shooting, had offered a $500,000 reward for her pets' safe return and praised Fischer, saying he risked his life "to fight for our family. You're forever a hero."
In an Instagram post about a month after the crime, Fischer said he had been recovering well from the shooting when his lung collapsed, and he had to have emergency surgery.
Los Angeles police said detectives did not believe the victim was targeted because of the dogs' owner, but suspect the great value of the breed was known and was the motivation for the robbery.
Associated Press wire services helped contribute to this report.