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Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash in California

Bryant's 13-year-old daughter may have also been on board.
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Kobe Bryant. Photo s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

By Bob Kronbauer and Lindsay William-Ross

Star NBA player Kobe Bryant has died.

TMZ was the first to report that Bryant's private helicopter crashed in the suburban community of Calabasas, California. 

ESPN and ABC News have also confirmed the news, as has the Associated Press.

helicopter-crash-kobe-bryant-lasdFirefighters on scene of a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. on Jan. 26, 2020. Kobe Bryant is believed to be among the dead. Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department/Twitter

There were five people on board the helicopter, which went down around 10 a.m. Sunday. There were no survivors, confirm the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

TMZ is also reporting that one of the other passengers was Bryant's daughter Gianna, 13, and that they were traveling to Bryant's sports facility, the Mamba Academy, in the nearby community of Thousand Oaks.

The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances, according to a spokesperson from the National Transportation Safety Board who spoke with ABC News.

"It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas," Calabasas Mayor Alicia Weintraub said, according to NBC Los Angeles. "The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt. The FAA and NTSB are investigating."

The Associated Press notes the crash sparked a small brush fire in the area. 

Bryant was 41. He had been married to his wife, Vanessa, since 2001. They had four daughters, including one born just last June.

The NBA star was last active Saturday on social media, sharing a similar message of respect to LeBron James on both Twitter and Instagram.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

On to #2 @kingjames! Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next. 💪🏾

A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

The NBA has this compilation video of moments featuring Bryant playing the Grizzlies, when the team was both from Vancouver and Memphis:

A memorial sign has gone up in Los Angeles outside the Staples Center, which is the home court of the Lakers. The Grammy Awards are slated to be held at the venue later today.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is expected to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. today.

More to come





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