Update: This story has been edited to reflect that in addition to Bryant being killed, his and wife Vanessa Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also killed in the crash, as well as all seven other people on board — six passengers and the pilot. The group was traveling to Gianna's basketball game at Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy, where he has been her team's coach for the past two years.
Retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant died on Sunday morning in a helicopter crash, per TMZ. The incident took place in Calabasas. Bryant was traveling with at least three other people, in his private helicopter. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
According to the report, emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived the crash. Nine people are confirmed dead. TMZ reported at the time that Bryant's wife Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.
The Los Angeles Times confirmed that a helicopter crash had occurred before 10 a.m. local time near Las Virgenes Road, south of Agoura Road. There were foggy conditions that caused the helicopter to crash in the hills above Calabasas and burst into flames.
A watch commander for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said that the crash ignited a small brush fire in the area surrounding the helicopter. Emergency Services personnel were unable to get to the aircraft until the fire was contained. The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department confirmed that there were five fatalities and no survivors of the wreck.
Bryant has been known for traveling via a private helicopter for years even during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. He famously commuted from Newport Beach to the STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles by way of his Sikorsky S-76 chopper.
Bryant and Gianna are survived by wife and mother, Vanessa, and daughters and sisters Natalia, Bianca, and Capri. The newborn, Capri, entered the family in June 2019 and was shown off to the world with a Fourth of July photo.
Bryant originally entered the NBA as the 16th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets. He was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for veteran center Vlade Divac. He would go on to enjoy one of the best careers in league history.
With a career that spanned 20 years and 1,346 games, Bryant is known as one of the NBA's all-time greats. The former Los Angeles Laker was named an NBA All-Star 18 times, and he was a member of five championship teams. He also had two separate numbers (8, 24) retired by the Lakers following his retirement. He is fourth on the NBA's All-Time scoring list.
Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty