Photographer killed snapping Justin Bieber's car was 'stalker'

There are claims Chris Guerra had 'harrassed' pop star before he was knocked down and killed

LAST UPDATED AT 13:23 ON Thu 3 Jan 2013

JUSTIN BIEBER had been "stalked and harrassed" by the paparazzo who was killed while taking pictures of the pop star's car on New Year's Day, sources close to the Canadian singer claim.

The unnamed sources also say that the photographer, now named as Chris Guerra, lied when he told a friend he had seen the singer smoking marijuana in his car, TMZ reports.

Guerra, 29, was struck by a passing car on Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles as he ran back to his own vehicle after taking pictures of Bieber's stationary white Ferrari. He died in hospital shortly after the accident.

It is understood that the Ferrari was being driven by a friend of Bieber's, a 19-year-old rapper known as Lil Twist, when it was pulled over by police. Bieber was not in the car at the time.

TMZ says "well-connected Bieber sources" said Guerra made "Justin's life hell … following and chasing him at every opportunity". They also say that Guerra lied when he phoned a friend about an hour before the accident and told him he had seen Bieber smoking "pot" while driving the Ferrari.

Bieber had "very little respect" for Guerra, the sources say, though the Canadian singer issued a statement yesterday saying his "thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim".

Guerra, who was from New Mexico, was known to have a "professional obsession" with Bieber, says Voxxi.

But an LA-based celebrity photographer who knew Guerra, painted a rather different picture of the 29-year-old, describing him as "a sweet, cool guy". The unnamed photographer told E that Guerra was "nice" to celebrities and other paparazzi and was not a "crazy pap".

"He never wanted to piss off anybody," the photographer said. · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.