BREAKING: Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash, His 13-Year-Old Daughter Also Killed
We have just learned that basketball star Kobe Bryant was among nine passengers who were killed in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday. Tragically, we have also learned that Kobe's 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore (GiGi) died in the crash, TMZ reports.
It was previously reported that just five victims were on board the helicopter, but just before 5:30 pm ET, Los Angeles County officials held a press conference to confirm that there were a total of 9 victims in the incident.
It was previously reported that the passengers on board were Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, one of her teammates, that teammate's parent, and a pilot.
We are not aware of the identities of the four additional victims, and officials cautioned that coroner's office was working to identify all of the victims of the tragedy.
The crash created left behind an extensive debris field and lead to brush fire that was estimated to be about a half-acre in the area.
The private copter was flying over Calabasas when a fire broke out Sunday morning, and reports say there were no survivors. NBC News says that foggy conditions were reported in the area a the time of the crash. It is not clear if the weather played a role in the tragedy.
TMZ Sports is reporting that the helicopter was on its way to the Mamba Academy in nearby Thousand Oaks, California, for a basketball practice session.
Bryant is the pride and joy of the Philadelphia area. The basketball superstar grew up just out of Philadelphia, and he attended Montgomery County's Lower Merion High School.
When he was just 17 years old, Bryant signed a three-year deal in 1996 with the Los Angeles Lakers for $3.5 million. Bryant retired from his storied basketball career in 2016.
Just days after signing his NBA deal, Kobe famously attended his high school prom at Lower Merion High School with Brandy (who was starring in the TV show, Moesha, at the time) in 1996. We have more memories of Kobe's time in Lower Merion on the PST app.
Bryant and his wife Vanessa had four daughters together.
This is a developing story, and we’ll have more when details are made available.