LOS ANGELES -- The 29-year-old photographer had just snapped shots of Justin Bieber’s exotic white Ferrari when he was struck and killed by a passing car -- a death that has spurred renewed debate over dangers paparazzi can bring on themselves and the celebrities they chase.
The accident prompted some stars including the teen heartthrob himself to renew their calls for tougher laws to rein in their pursuers, though previous urgings have been stymied by First Amendment protections.
In a statement, Bieber said his prayers were with the photographer’s family. Ironically, the singer wasn’t even in the Ferrari on Tuesday.
"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," Bieber said in the statement released by Island Def Jam Music Group.
Authorities have withheld the name of the photographer, killed after being hit by a Toyota Highlander, pending notification of relatives.
Much of Hollywood was abuzz about the death, including Miley Cyrus, who sent several tweets critical of some of the actions of paparazzi and lamenting that the unfortunate accident was "bound to happen."
Industry veterans recalled incidents where paparazzi chasing celebrities have been injured, but they couldn’t remember a photographer being