Several news outlets have confirm, Kobe Bryant and 4 others (now confirmed 8 others) have died in a helicopter crash in the foothills of Calabasas.
UPDATE: 12:45 PT – Kobe’s daughter 13 year-old daughter Gianna was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash.
UPDATE: 2:45 PT– Officials believe there were a total of 9 people, 1 pilot and 8 passengers, onboard, with no survivors. It is still unclear what caused the crash, the investigation is underway.
UPDATE: 6:00 PT – Officials have identified and released the names of all 9 people on the helicopter: Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and the pilot Ara Zobayan.
Eyewitnesses have said us they heard the helicopter’s engine sputtering before it went down. Flames and smoke covered much of the the wreck. The official cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
Kobe, widely considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time, is known to use a helicopter to travel for years, dating back to his days with the Lakers. He would commute to the STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles from Newport Beach, CA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper.
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, and their four daughters; Gianna, Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri (born June of 2019).
Photo Credit: DFree / Shutterstock and Sgt. Joseph A. Lee