The Latino paparazzo killed while in pursuit of taking photos of pop star Justin Bieber has been accused of stalking and making false claims about the pop star prior to his untimely death.
A 29-year-old freelance photographer from New Mexico, Chris Guerra had been working exclusively on getting photos of the Biebs for months.
TMZ, sourcing people close to Bieber, reports that before the tragic accident on New Year’s Day, Guerra had been accused of stalking and harassing the singer, “following and chasing him at every opportunity.”
Just a few hours before Guerra’s unfortunate incident, the paparazzo had called a photo agency he worked for claiming he was onto a big story.
A a source for the agency told TMZ that Guerra claimed he saw Bieber earlier on New Year’s Day smoking what he believed was marijuana from a pipe while driving the Ferrari.
However new information has revealed that it was actually Bieber’s friend, rapper Lil Twist, that was driving the Ferrari and who Guerra was following when he was struck by oncoming traffic.
Los Angeles police officer Sergeant Rudy Lopez said that prior to his death Guerra was asked by highway patrol men to return to his car.
“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,” Lopez said.
“When the photographer returned to the vehicle it did not appear that he was looking and he was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound.”
Since the incident occurred, Bieber’s people have been upset around the rumors circulating about the incident, wishing that the focus would remain on honoring Guerra.
"It's really sad that people are trying to push a story without the facts so soon after this tragic accident,” the singer’s rep told TMZ.
“Justin was not present or involved in this incident and the focus should remain on honoring the memory of the victim."
After hearing the news, Bieber himself addressed the incident in a statement to the media.
"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.
"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."
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