UPDATE: 11:30 A.M. EST
TMZ reports that a source connected with the photo agency Chris Guerra worked with says that Guerra believed that he was following a huge story: Justin Bieber smoking marijuana in his Ferrari.
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.
We now know that Bieber wasn’t in the vehicle at all. This story is developing.
UPDATE: 11:20 A.M. EST
TMZ reports that Lil Twist, a Lil Wayne protege, was driving Justin Bieber’s Ferrari when photographer Chris Guerra was struck and killed by another car:
According to sources, 19-year-old Lil Twist was hanging with Bieber at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills on Tuesday afternoon … when, for some reason, he left in the white Ferrari without Justin.
Justin Bieber has also released a statement regarding the accident:
“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.”
This story is developing.
UPDATE: 11:15 A.M EST
TMZ has identified the photographer who was killed while trying to photograph Justin Bieber’s Ferrari as freelancer Chris Guerra.
Guerra, who was in his late 20s — was following Bieber all day Tuesday. Guerra called someone connected with a paparazzi agency at around 5:30 PM to say he was waiting for Justin, who had pulled into the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills a short time earlier. Guerra abruptly said the Ferrari was pulling out of the hotel and he had to leave.
Guerra apparently assumed Justin was in the car. As we first reported … he was not.
Guerra had been working in a Las Vegas casino for several years, when he moved out to L.A. in March to become a photog.
In recent months, he worked the Bieber detail exclusively.
Guerra was not married and had no kids.
This story is developing.
In a sad twist of events, a paparazzo was killed when he was struck by another vehicle while trying to photograph Justin Bieber’s Ferrari, according to TMZ.
Bieber was not in the car, sources familiar with the situation told TMZ. A friend was driving the Ferrari and another friend was in the passenger seat when the car was pulled over by California Highway Patrol for a routine traffic stop:
We’re told a paparazzo — who was following the Ferrari at the time of the pull over — attempted to snap pics while officers conducted the traffic stop … until CHP advised the photog to move back because the situation was unsafe.
At some point, we’re told the photog was struck by an oncoming vehicle and killed.
Our sources say drugs and alcohol were not a factor for the driver of the vehicle that hit the photog.
Sources say that the photographer – who is yet to be indentified – was struck as he was trying to cross back towards his own vehicle.
After the tragic incident occurred, Justin Bieber released a statement:
“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.”
The Los Angeles Police Department has interviewed the motorist who hit the photographer, but no arrests have been made.
Wow! Safety first guys! We pray for his family. The story is developing.