Days after it was alleged that deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shared graphic photos from the crash scene that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others, a new update has emerged about the situation. On Monday, TMZ reported that there are allegedly 8 deputies who are involved in this matter, according to L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
Villanueva made the announcement on Monday, noting that he was "shocked" by this scandal and that he considers it to be a "punch to the gut." The sheriff said that the photos have subsequently been erased and that the deputies involved will be facing disciplinary action. He went on to claim that only two groups at the scene were authorized to take photos — the coroner and NTSB investigators.
The Los Angeles Times and TMZ both reported on Friday that deputies had allegedly shared the sensitive information following the tragic incident. TMZ alleged that one of the deputies involved, a trainee, had shared photos of the crash site at a bar only a few days after the tragedy occurred. A source told the publication that the deputy was allegedly trying "to impress a girl by showing her the photos," per a source.
A bartender reportedly overheard the conversation and filed an online complaint with the Sheriff's Department. TMZ also alleged that the Sheriff's Department has known about this incident for about three weeks.
Following these reports, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department issued a statement in which they detailed that a full investigation would be done regarding the matter.
"The sheriff is deeply disturbed at the thought deputies could allegedly engage in such an insensitive act," the statement said, as obtained by ABC News. "A thorough investigation will be conducted by the department, with the number one priority of protecting the dignity and privacy of the victims and their families."
"Our client, Vanessa Bryant, is absolutely devastated by allegations that deputies from the Lost Hills Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department publicly disseminated photos from the helicopter crash site," the statement began.
The statement continued to express that these allegations entail "an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families." Vanessa's attorney also called for the deputies involved to "face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated."