Justin Bieber Paparazzi Killed While Taking Pics, Singer Expresses 'Shock And Sadness'
A paparazzi photographer was struck and killed by a car after taking pictures of Justin Bieber's white Ferrari on New Year's Day.
The unidentified photographer was struck by an oncoming SUV on a highway not long after taking snaps of Bieber's luxury ride shortly after it was pulled over for speeding. Two of Bieber's friends were in the vehicle when the incident occured, however, Bieber, 18, was not present at the time of the tragic accident.
The pair was pulled over by California Highway Patrol for speeding, according to TMZ.
The photographer, believed to be known as Chris, got out of his car to take pictures of Bieber's Ferrari and was struck by an SUV after being told by a highway patrol man to get back to his own car. Los Angeles police said the highway patrol man noticed the photographer taking pictures and asked him to return to his own vehicle.
"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," Los Angeles police officer Sergeant Rudy Lopez told Mail Online. "When the photographer returned to the vehicle it did not appear that he was looking and he was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound."
The photographer, believed to be 29 years of age, died at a hospital shortly after. Photographs posted on Mail Online showed the man's hat and shoe left on the road after the crash.
The driver of the Toyota Higlander SUV that struck the photographer is believed to be a female. She prevented other cars on the highway from hitting his body after the accident, according to reports.
Bieber released a statement expressing his condolences regarding the man's death.
"While I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim," Bieber said in a statement to CNN.
Bieber also mentioned the need to push more laws against paparazi behavior:
"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."