Paparazzo killed while trying to photograph Justin Bieber’s Ferrari

These photos are from 12-3-12

When I first read the headline for this story, a scenario formed in my head of a high speed car crash. We’ve seen video of Bieber bobbing dangerously in and out of traffic with the paparazzi in hot pursuit, and he’s been cited in the past for high speed chases involving the paparazzi. He got a ticket in July for going well over 100 on the freeway.

What allegedly happened in this case is just as sad, but not as damaging to Bieber’s reputation. (I’m sorry to put it that way, but my initial instinct was to blame the kid for speeding and not pulling over. It’s not like he would have been entirely to blame in that scenario either, but this is more cut and dried. That is, if it happened the way they’re claiming.) So cops had pulled Bieber’s car, a white Ferrari, over for a “routine” traffic stop, according to TMZ. Supposedly Bieber wasn’t driving or even in the car, which sounds suspicious to me. A photographer who was following the vehicle got out of his car to take photos of the incident and was supposedly warned by police to get back as it wasn’t safe. The photographer was then struck and killed by an oncoming car. TMZ reports this and notes in an update that Bieber wasn’t even there. More on that in a moment:

8:40PM PST: Justin Bieber was not in the Ferrari … sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ. We’re told one of Justin’s friends was driving and another friend was in the passenger seat.

A paparazzo attempting to shoot photos of Justin Bieber’s Ferrari was hit by another car and killed this evening — although Bieber was NOT behind the wheel of the Ferrari … TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Bieber’s white Ferrari was pulled over by California Highway Patrol for a routine traffic stop on Sepulveda Blvd. … near the Getty Center in LA.

According to our sources, Bieber was DEFINITELY not driving at the time. It’s unclear at this point who was driving, and if Justin was even in the car.

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.

[From TMZ]

The pap did a dumb thing but he didn’t deserve to die for it. I’m confused by the detail that the guy put his life in danger to step out in traffic to photograph some of Bieber’s friends. The same paps follow Bieber, he seemed to know the guy he was berating in that video I mentioned and he told another paparazzo following him that he really liked him. So it’s not adding up to me that someone was so keen to get a photo of Bieber’s friends getting pulled over. The guy probably didn’t realize Bieber wasn’t in the car. It looks like the Ferrari has tinted windows. I feel like we’re not being told the full story here, but maybe that’s the nature of breaking news.

You know what makes me a little sick, though? Someone is going to want to buy those last photos taken before this guy got killed. At least the money will go to his family.

Photo credit:

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65 Responses to “Paparazzo killed while trying to photograph Justin Bieber’s Ferrari”

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  1. Riana says:

    What a waste.

    At the end of the day people need to remember these celebs are just HUMAN. This man was so determined to get a picture of a car he stepped into traffic and got himself killed.

    That has as much to do with Bieber as any celeb. Paps have been doing stupid stunts for a while to get the coveted golden pic (hanging from trees, following in speedig vehicles, trespassing) one of them just finally got killed while doing it. Again what a waste.

    • gg says:

      I agree. With all respect to the deceased, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened more actually, and glad we don’t hear this more often, but I don’t think this will stop them. They want a payout.

      When things like this happen, I see comments from people that start: “The guy (papp) was just doing his job and feeding his family”.

      No, they are not just doing their job. They clearly don’t HAVE a real job, they’re just trying to cash in on being exceedingly reckless and putting themselves and others in danger just to get a potential payout for invading somebody else’s privacy.

      In my opinion, and apparently a few courts’, unless the photographer is at least twenty feet away, no moving vehicles are involved, the person isn’t naked or doing something private or screaming “GO AWAY!”, then they’re not just doing their job, they’re being a severe nuisance and invading people’s privacy for money. They don’t care if they are hated for doing it, they risk it all for money. The papers paying such high dividends are equally to blame. And this falls under the heading of “prostitution” of one’s self for money.

  2. Joanna says:

    wow! a woman I used to work with, her daughter got killed in a similar way. Her daughter pulled over to help someone who was broken down at the side of the road. She got out and was hit by a car and died.
    how horrible!

  3. gee says:

    This makes me so mad. This man was willing to not only put his life in danger, but EVERY OTHER PERSON driving there’s lives too! The emotional distress the driver who hit him will be horrible, I’m sure JB’s friends feel like crap. No picture of a celebrity is worth someone’s life.

  4. FirstTimer says:

    I sure hope he’ll get a decent funeral by the agency who hired him.

  5. chloe says:

    I’m sorry for this guys family and for the person that hit him, no picture is worth losing your life for. I had a friend that went to LA a couple of years ago and said the got shoved off a sidewalk by the paps trying to get a picture of some reality star. These guys risk not only their lives but others just to get a pic, I feel sorry for the driver of the car that has to live with the guilt of hitting this idiot.

    • Brittney says:

      Have you ever seen the show “Dirt”? It got cancelled pretty quickly and it’s obviously fictional, but it was surprisingly good, and it really made me wonder how much of it was based on true events. The paparazzi in that show would go to ANY length to get a “money shot” and there was even a story arc about a celebrity who faked a pregnancy, which played out identically a few years later when Beyonce’s pillow scandal broke.

  6. Lauren says:

    I feel bad for the guys family. These people shouldn’t be chasing celebs down just to make some money. Not only are they endangering their lives along with the celebrity they are chasing, they are also putting everyone else on the highway in danger. Something needs to be done about this.

  7. Tulip says:

    My heart goes out to the man’s family. I don’t always like their tactics, but no one deserves to die like that.

    • Daniela says:

      Well, maybe someone who puts innocents’s lives at risk because of a picture of a car does.

      • erika says:

        whoa that was brutal, I wish you’d take that back, it’s just not the time, it’s too early for comments like that.

        i understand, but do realize that this is an ‘ensemble’ team here (group of people in action together created this fatal scenario…).

        i don’t want to go in to it, but people do careless, crazy, thoughtless things and lose their life. at least he wasn’t at a LLohan level of stupidity.

        prayers to his family and those that loved him, i imagine your pain

      • flan says:

        LLohan hasn’t gotten herself killed yet…

        Paparazzi go way too far; provoking, chasing stars. But if one of their targets react in any way, they’ll be blamed.

  8. Maria says:

    i feel bad for the person who hit him. he wasnt trying to safe a life or something he wanted to cash in with pictures of some celeb. the police warned him, he ignored it. im sorry but i cant feel bad for him. when someone jumps from a high building to get on youtube i also cant feel bad for them if they die.

    just imagine someone else got killed because of that pap. on the street you are not only endangering yourself but others.

    (even if the bieber speeds, not excuse to race with him unless you are police)

  9. Kim says:

    I was almost killed by paparazzi chasing some celeb so too bad for his family but he chose that line of work.At least an innocent bystander wasn’t killed. What idiot stands in the flow of traffic rather than on sidewalk.RIP hopefully his death won’t be in vain.Maybe the photography agency will be more strict with the pics they buy.

  10. elceibeno08 says:

    Justin lets someone else drive his $350K Ferrari? Do you know the liability involved if his friends kill somebody while driving Justin’s car!

  11. the original bellaluna says:

    I’m not buying the “he wasn’t even in the car” line. Sounds too Blohanese for my taste.

  12. janinedm says:

    I could see it. With all the big celebrities in Turks & Caicos or Cabo or what have you, the paps left in LA were likely more desperate to get for shots (money).

  13. pretty says:

    I hope the guy who hit the paparazzi is doing okay. Don’t feel guilty.
    The cop obviously warned the paparazzi to stay away and he didn’t listen.
    I’m not sorry for him but sorry for the guy who hit the paparazzi. He would suffer some damage for sure..:( :(

  14. Jackson says:

    How very sad for the photog and his family. And no, not really buying that JB wasn’t in the car either.

    On a side note, please, please never lose that last photo of JB with the green hat, oversized shades and plaid shirt. That is the perfect image of that little shit. He looks like a five year old that mom and dad dressed up in adult clothing. That picture of him should haunt him the rest of his life.

    • Lizzie K says:


      I know nothing of this little douche except what I read, but he consistently sounds like an entitled little brat. Anyone who looks at that pic and still sees something to admire is just sad and needs a dose of self-esteem.

      • Trek Girl says:

        Or they are like every pre-teen, teen, young adult who likes or admires the singers that have fun music and clothes that they like. Not everything is a self-esteem issue.

        Liking Justin Beiber is not a bad thing either. Considering some of the crazy, horrible, unforunate things teen singers have done in previous decades, Justin is doing just fine.

  15. Gine says:

    I feel bad for the guy’s family and the person who hit him. No one deserves to die like that, obviously, but what an incredibly stupid thing to risk your life for.

  16. judyjudy says:

    I feel bad for the person who hit him. :-(

  17. Reece says:

    That was incredibly stupid! Sepulveda is essentially a two lane hwy going over the hill. So stupid. I feel sorry for the guys family and the person that hit him. No way you get over something like that.

  18. TG says:

    These celebs are so cheesey lending out their car to their friends. That car looks so tacky being driven by a child. I guess I am never impressed by cars. I only want to get from A to B as safely and cheaply as possible.

  19. A says:

    When I was 19, I was driving down the PCH in the early morning after surfing. Right when I passed Paradise Cove, two paps literally jaywalked/ran right in front of my car…I swerved into the other lane because I was an inexperienced driver, but because it was so early I got lucky and didn’t hit another car…Moral of the story is that paps are f’ing crazy. I assume they risked their lives to try and trespass and get some photos of celebs leaving the cafe’s parking lot.

  20. CC says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t really feel good or bad about the situation. The pap did it to himself, if he wants this occupation but doesn’t safeguard his own safety for the sake of pictures, well…. and I don’t really adhere to the “he was just making a living” bit. Paps should stick to the celebs that call them for pics/exposure.

    • JonNYC says:

      I agree. And I think you’re being too kind. They are heartless vultures, out to profit from other people’s weaknesses. My only regret is that that the woman driving didn’t mow a few more of them down. And I couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks of that comment. I’m not the only one who’s thought it….

  21. Jayna says:

    It’s very dangerous to pull on the side of the road. Too many cases of cars veering off the road a little at that exact place unfortunately and killing the person broken down on the side of the road, a cop, or even a Good Samaritan trying to help.

  22. jensational says:

    is it just me or does the last pic of JB look ridiculous? His hat is 3 sizes too big and he looks like a royal douche-canoe!

  23. Ginger says:

    Number one rule in photography of any kind (but particularly in potentially dangerous environments) ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings! It’s really too bad that a photographer died in this way. Maybe others will learn from it.

  24. some bitch says:

    Feel horrible for his family. What a terrible way to lose somebody.

    I can’t wait until this little shitbag is gone. That last picture provides a summary to all his douchiness. How many years until the inevitable “Blew through my hundreds of millions/drug use tell all” interview?

  25. erika says:

    i know we don’t have all the facts in, and regardless of whether or not beiber was in his car or not, i sure the HELL HOPE that BIEBER stands back and LEARNS FROM THIS!!!

    again, regardless of fault or not, Beiber punk needs to slow the Hell down in his fancy $$$ #*!(*!&@^^% sports cars and think not only of his life but the lives of others.

    yeah, i hate the kid, but if it were my own kid? I would be yelling to the heavens to clean up phis driving act that God forbid it could have been him

  26. Poppy says:

    Agree with everyone @ the person that hit the guy; how to deal with knowing you killed someone accidentally? Horrible. I understand people being mad at the paps. What makes it worse for me is I feel celebrities often set it up, literally call and let them know so they get another day’s publicity. His manager seems like the kind to even let them know which vehicle bieber will be driving. The lifestyle they are trying to sell is ridiculous. He always comes across as an idiot child, albeit rich.
    There were severe consequences this time. Ugh.

  27. TheOneAndOnly says:

    It’s very sad he lost his life chasing a talentless entitled douchenozzle that is nothing more than a product shilling products for the corporate machine; Please explain to me how the word “star” became so debased that this idiot is considered one. He embodies everything that’s wrong with today’s pop culture – starting with the fact that the lighthearted fun aspect of several generations ago has completely disappeared to be replaced by such moronic notions as “swag.”

  28. skuddles says:

    Of course any photos that pap managed to snap before he was hit by the car will be exploited all to hell. I can see the headline now…Last pics before pap sacrificed his life for Justin Bieber, or some nonsense like that. Sad. just sad.

  29. Kim says:

    Rapper Lil Twist was driving the car there is a pic

  30. andy says:

    The last person to speak with the photog who was killed Tuesday following Justin Bieber’s car tells TMZ … Chris Guerra was quite sure Justin had been smoking pot while driving earlier in the day.

    Read more:

  31. Amy625 says:

    I read the story twice and don’t see anything suspicious about it. I’ve seen plenty of stories of Justin’s friends driving his cars. Depending where the car is coming from (garage, gated home) and maybe tinted windows, I don’t see why it’s surprising that the pap didn’t know who was in the car. It shouldn’t be shocking to anybody that the pap stepped into the street for shots. They do this all of the time. There are plenty of photos and videos of them standing in the street and blocking traffic. I just don’t have much sympathy for the pap because he intentionally put himself and others at risk.

  32. DreamyK says:

    Whelp. Justin gets flashy cars and stays in areas the Paps are known to be the thickest in. Why? Because he wants attention. He knows the Paps follow him and all this protesting is ridiculous. He WANTS the attention. Someone gets paid to give him that attention via photos. Beiber’s house is in Thousand Oaks, or 40 miles away from the Four Season hotel in Beverly Hills where he was apparently staying at. In other words, his house is close by. He chooses to be in Pap zones.

    My condolences to the man’s family. Very sad.

    • Riana says:

      Does driving flashy cars or living in a flashy neighborhood excuse a man stepping into traffic to take pictures of a car AFTER being warned by police?

      I feel bad for the driver. I feel bad that someone else could have died because we’ve given paps a pass to become menaces to society in pursuit of dumb pictures – and I can’t think of a picture dumber than this.

      I’m just glad no one else lost their life because of his decision, I am sorry this is what he lost his life over for his family. A stupid picture.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I agree. As much as this kind of crap is tacitly supported and even encouraged by the lunacy of celebrity culture and the celebrities who sometimes engage in this sordid little dance while claiming innocence, Justin Bieber: Licensed Peckerhead didn’t commit murder. I think there are a lot of people who do or will feel guilty, or will be made to feel guilty because people who are much more intelligent and more wiser than I am say to me and to you and all of us that this is part of how people respond to events like this: shocking but not surprising, but after and above all else just sad (in every sense). But for all of the personal distaste we feel for the atmosphere that created a world in which opportunities for horrors like this to occur are rife and that those opportunities are increasingly realised and also for the personal distaste we may have for the celebrity in person or his reaction to all of this, I still hold firm that Justin Bieber is still a kid who is as shaken up about this as anyone, even though he may not know it. Given the situation, how do I know that I wouldn’t take up an ‘Well, I didn’t tell him to do it, so don’t put it on me’ attitude to distance myself, especially if were that young? But I don’t know the guy, so maybe I’m just talking lofty pap, as per usual. But even an annoying kid is a kid and while I’ll put a lot of stuff on The Terror That Stole Stratford From Shakespeare, I’m just going to call this a really horrible accident and a sad commentary on the state of celebrity culture, which is absolutely ravenous and toward predatory towards all involved and those sometimes dragged in to its hysteria and decide to close comment there.