Justin Bieber has called for new laws for paparazzi following the ‘tragic’ death of a photographer who was run over and killed while taking pictures of the star’s sportscar.
A 29-year-old freelance photographer, named as Chris Guerra, was struck by a vehicle on Tuesday night after taking pictures of the singer’s white $200,000 Ferrari in Los Angeles.
The 18-year-old released a statement in which he said his ‘thoughts and prayers’ were with Guerra’s friends and family.
In his statement, Bieber said: ‘While I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim.
‘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.’
Chris Guerra was tailing Bieber’s white Ferrari when it was pulled over by California Highway Patrol officers on an I-405 off ramp in L.A.
He got out of his car to take pictures but was struck by a Toyota Highlander SUV as he was running back to his own vehicle after being told to return to his vehicle repeatedly by police.
Photographs taken from the scene show Guerra’s hat and shoe lying in the road where he was hit. He was wearing the same baseball cap on one of the last time he was photographed last month in Aspen, Colorado.
It is believed the female driver of the car which struck the photographer stopped other cars from hitting the man’s body after she had called 911.
Los Angeles police officer Sergeant Rudy Lopez said the highway patrol men had noticed the photographer taking pictures close to the scene. He said one of the officers asked him to return to his vehicle.
Sgt Lopez said: ‘He verbally ordered him to return to the vehicle, he had to order him twice and he seemed reluctant to go back, but eventually he did.
‘When the photographer returned to the vehicle it did not appear that he was looking and he was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound.‘
Guerra died at a hospital shortly after the crash.
The LAPD is continuing to investigate the man’s death.
Guerra claimed to friends earlier in the day that he had spotted Bieber smoking what he believed to be marijuana from a pipe while driving the Ferrari.
A source said the photographer told him he was following the singer back to the Four Seasons and was continuing to pursue what he believed was a big story.
The source says after 20 minutes, Guerra hung up as he 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 Bieber in the car.
Bieber had already been pulled over by police in his Ferrari while driving through West Hollywood in November. He was initially pulled over for making an unsafe left turn. During the stop, the officer discovered Bieber’s registration was expired and he was given a ticket.
by Lorelle Heath