CULVER CITY (CBSLA.com) — Questions persist following the death of Michael Hastings Tuesday, after reports that the award-winning journalist told WikiLeaks the government was watching him.
WikiLeaks tweeted a message to their millions of followers Wednesday stating that the 33-year-old author and war correspondent had contacted the organization’s lawyer to say he was being watched by the FBI.READ MORE: CHP Investigating Deadly Fontana Tesla Crash To See If Self-Driving Computer Played Part
“Michael Hastings was a journalist who definitely gave the government trouble, the Pentagon trouble, so if they were surveilling him it wouldn’t be that surprising,” said friend and fellow journalist Cenk Uygur.
A freelance photographer who captured footage of the fiery crash also recorded dashboard video that he believes shows Hastings speeding and running a red light before the crash.READ MORE: 'I Don't Regret My Decision': Truck Driver Who Stopped Dangerous April Pursuit Says Insurance Company Won't Cover Claim
Police have not yet confirmed that the person killed was Hastings because the body was reportedly burned beyond recognition.
One friend who declined to speak on camera said Hastings was very paranoid that he was being watched by the FBI, but that it is too soon to speculate on the conspiracy theories surrounding his death.
Uygur said he had no idea what the award-winning journalist’s state of mind was at the time of the crash, but described Hastings as a fierce journalist who will be missed.
He “just gave you all that he had, wore his heart on his sleeve,” said Uygur. “He was a terrific guy and we’re going to miss him greatly.”MORE NEWS: Newsom Says Most Californians Will Reap Benefits From State Budget Surplus
Officials say it could take up to six weeks before the official cause of death is known.