Entertainment

Mother of paparazzo killed trying to snap pictures of Justin Bieber's Ferrari sues CHP

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The family of a paparazzo who was fatally struck by a vehicle while trying to take a photo of Justin Bieber's Ferrari has filed a lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol.

Paparazzo Christopher Guerra, 29, died after he was struck by a car on Sepulveda Boulevard and Getty Center Drive on Jan. 1.

The paparazzo was shooting Justin Bieber's car, driven by rapper Lil Twist, who had been stopped by a CHP officer for speeding. Bieber was not in the car.

Months later, Guerra's family members are now pointing the finger at the arresting officer. They say he used his authority to force Guerra into traffic.

"He was somebody in authority and he was ordering my son to do something that was dangerous. He said it was dangerous," Vicky Guerra, Christopher's mother said. "Twice he ordered him and my son said no, finally 'OK I'll do it'. And what happens? Chris gets killed."

When the accident occurred in January, the CHP said the officer did order Guerra away from the traffic stop twice, saying he crossed the street illegally and was standing in a dangerous area he wasn't allowed to be in.

According to Donald Karpel, the Guerra's family attorney, the family believes that the dash cam video could back up what they believe happened.

"We believe that when the CHP officer approached the fence to confront Chris, he either had his hand on the gun or maybe pulled a Taser gun," Karpel said.

Guerra was hit by a car when crossing back across on Sepulveda Boulevard after the CHP officer ordered him back. But now his family says he was hit by more than one car.

"If anyone knows anything, any information, or even if the driver wants to clear his conscience and come forward, that would be the right thing to do, because you will live with this for the rest of your life," Vicky said. "Chris deserves justice because the story has not been told."

The family says they saw another car hit him on grainy surveillance video from the Getty Center which has not been made available to the public.

They plan to file a claim against the CHP who they say is covering up what really happened that night but won't disclose how much they are asking for.

"Right now, that number has not been determined," Karpel said. "I'll ask you, what do you value a 29-year-old's life?"

The California Highway Patrol did not immediately reply to ABC7's requests for interviews or statements.

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Tags:
celebrity, california highway patrol, car crash, entertainment, rudabeh shahbazi
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