Breaking News of the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant initially reported that five people were on board a helicopter that crashed. The correct number is worse than the original report from TMZ Sports, who updated that nine passengers, including basketball great Kobe Bryant, were killed in a helicopter crash today.
Update: TMZ Sports is reporting exclusively on even more tragic news.
Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old-daughter was onboard the downed helicopter and did not survive. Gianna, aka GiGi, was a talented basketball player like her dad. She was recently seen courtside with her father, who appeared to be giving her pointers on the game:
Right after this video of them was going viral too… RIP Kobe and his daughter Gianna pic.twitter.com/mmOUKbfkny
— ….. (@Anti) January 26, 2020
12:35 PM PT — Kobe’s daughter Gianna Maria Onore — aka GiGi — was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash … reps for Kobe tell TMZ Sports. She was 13.
We’re told they were on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred. The Academy is in nearby Thousand Oaks.
According to the FAA, the cause of the crash of the Sikorsky 5-76 helicopter that was flying over Calabasas, California, is “unknown.”
Local authorities report that the helicopter was 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles when it crashed, killing all nine passengers.
TMZ Sports first reported that Bryant was killed in the crash. ESPN and ABC Los Angeles also confirmed the report of Bryant’s death. Also, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reports that all passengers have died.
L.A. Times reporter Richard Winton tweeted out that around the time of the crash, the mountains were “fogged in.”
This photo from Richard Winton of the L.A. Times is the reported crash scene of Kobe Bryant's helicopter pic.twitter.com/hvYMZmkQIh
— Graham Cox (@vanislandgee) January 26, 2020
“I heard the plane splutter and then a boom.” – LA Times reporter Richard Winton
Kobe Bryant was a superstar athlete but was a husband and father. This is tragic.
prayers to vanessa and the four baby girls who lost their dad today ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ImqgKEkEo8
— JHR (@jjadareese) January 26, 2020
Please pray for Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, and their daughters.
A video from just yesterday shows Kobe Bryant greeting lacrosse players at the Mamba Sports Academy:
Just yesterday, Kobe was greeting young high school lacrosse players being trained at the Mamba Sports Academy by @KyleHarrison18.
— Premier Lacrosse League (@PremierLacrosse) January 26, 2020
President Trump tweeted out that this is “terrible news.”