A paparazzo attempting to get a money shot of Justin Bieber last night was hit and killed by another car.
According to police, Bieber’s white Ferrari was pulled over by California Highway Patrol for speeding on the 405. The driver of the vehicle was ordered to pull off the freeway, onto Sepulveda Blvd. The photographer had been following the Ferarri pulled over as well, and attempted to take pictures while the officers conducted the traffic stop.
The paparazzo crossed Sepulveda to take the pictures, and twice was ordered back to his car by police. When the photographer was crossing back to his car, he was struck by an oncoming car and killed.
Turns out Justin wasn’t even in the car at the time, but the photographer didn’t know that. It was one of Justin’s friends, and another friend in the passenger seat.
Justin released a statement, saying … “Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders, and the photographers themselves.”
Unfortunately, the paparazzo thought he was on the verge of a huge story. Here’s more from TMZ:
The photog who was killed taking pics of Justin Bieber‘s car made a call less than an hour before he died, telling someone he was on a big story — because he claimed he saw Justin smoking marijuana while driving.
A source connected with the photo agency for whom Chris Guerra did freelance work tells TMZ … Chris called him at 5:16 Tuesday afternoon. Chris said, “Man, you won’t believe my luck. It’s pretty dead in L.A.. Everybody thinks Justin and Selena are in Mexico, but they’re not.”
Chris — who worked exclusively on the Bieber detail — said he had spotted Justin’s car earlier in the day at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills and also saw Selena Gomez’s car there.
Chris went on … claiming he saw Justin earlier in the day smoking what he believed was marijuana from a pipe while driving the Ferrari.
Our source says Chris told him he was following Justin back to the Four Seasons and was continuing to pursue what he believed was a big story.
The source says after 20 minutes, Chris abruptly said the Ferrari was pulling out of the hotel parking lot and he needed to hang up and follow it. Apparently he had no idea Justin was NOT in the car.
Our source — who as we said is connected to the photo agency — believes Chris was probably “overzealous” at the traffic stop because he believed he was on the cusp of an enormous scoop.
Justin’s rep tells TMZ, “It’s really sad that people are trying to push a story without the facts so soon after this tragic accident. Justin was not present or involved in this incident and the focus should remain on honoring the memory of the victim.”
The rep did not directly respond to the marijuana allegation.
So sad. Celebrities are coming out left and right today calling for stricter legislation on paparazzi. I think the whole thing is so tragic. I’m not sure if tighter laws would really do anything, but I agree something needs to be done.