Justin Bieber frenzy finally ended with the death of a photographer who was taking photos of the 18 year-old singer’s white Ferrari in Los Angeles last night. The unidentified 29 year-old victim had crossed a busy street just off the 405 freeway when he was struck by a motorist and killed, according to The L.A. Times today. So far no charges have been filed against the driver that struck the man. Justin Bieber was not in the Ferrari at the time of the accident, but released a statement early today expressing his sorrow and apparent anger over the event, with a call to action to prevent such occurrences in the future.
Justin Bieber’s car was being driven by an unnamed friend when it was pulled over shortly before 6 p.m. on the 405 freeway. A Californian Highway Patrol officer directed the driver down an off ramp and onto Sepulveda Boulevard near Getty Center Drive.
The non-professional photographer spotted the white Ferrari, parked his car on the other side of the street, then crossed over to take pictures. Photos of Bieber can draw a hefty price tag. L.A. Police spokesman James Stoughton twice told the man to return to his car.
As he did so, he was struck, and later died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to CNN. Justin Bieber released a statement on the tragedy in which he both expressed his condolences as well as seeming disdain for the paparazzi and their tactics.
“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”.
Justin Bieber’s run-ins with the press are well documented. A group of six paparazzi chased the pop star at speeds of more than 80 mph on July 6 of last year, resulting in his being cited for speeding.
In a May incident in Calabasas, Calif., a photographer had claimed that he was accosted by Justin on the street, and filed a police report after dialing 911. The L.A. District Attorney’s office failed to press charges on Bieber due to lack of evidence.
Justin scuffled with reporters in Britain recently, grabbing them by the collar and throwing them out of the way. The singer also allegedly threw a water bottle at photogs in Miami just last month.
In November, a frustrated Biebs brought traffic on a busy California expressway to a grinding halt when he came to a stand still and began taunting a paparazzo through his car window. Watch video of the encounter by clicking here.