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Justin Bieber sends 'thoughts and prayers' after paparazzo's death

January 02, 2013|By Christie D'Zurilla

Justin Bieber on Wednesday sent "thoughts and prayers" to the family of a 29-year-old paparazzo killed Tuesday while he was shadowing the pop star's Ferrari, trying to obtain pictures during a traffic stop.

"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 obtained by L.A. Now. "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 freelance photographer — identified by TMZ as Chris Guerra — was struck by a sport utility vehicle around 6 p.m. while crossing Sepulveda Boulevard after a California Highway Patrol officer who'd pulled over the Ferrari directed him back to his own car. Guerra had initially crossed to the side of the road where the Ferrari was in order to take photos.

He was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he died, L.A. Now reported. Police said it was unlikely the driver of the SUV would face any charges.

Bieber's friend Lil Twist was driving the Ferrari, which the photographer had reportedly been following all day, according to TMZ. Bieber was not in the car when it was pulled over on the 405 Freeway for a traffic stop, with CHP directing the car off the freeway and onto Sepulveda near Getty Center Drive.

On Tuesday morning, about 10 hours before the accident, Lil Twist tweeted, "My #2013 been so wild already.... I still haven't been sleep.... Flew in from Mexico today and all that!!"

The 19-year-old rapper, a Lil Wayne protege, had been hanging out with Bieber in Mexico and then reportedly was with him at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills before the incident.

Bieber was reportedly in Puerta Vallarta for the New Year's Eve weekend with girlfriend Selena Gomez. "beliebers...thank u :)" he tweeted Wednesday morning.

ALSO:

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Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs and on Facebook facebook.com/ministryofgossip.

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