Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a press conference that a total of nine people were on the helicopter, including the pilot and eight passengers.
He added that at this time, despite wide speculation, he would not be identifying the passengers in the press conference.
TMZ.com reports Bryant’s oldest daughter Gianna is among those lost in the crash:
1:12 PM PT — Rick Fox’s attorney confirms the former Laker was NOT among those on board the helicopter, despite rumors that circulated suggesting he was.
12:49 PM PT — President Trump just tweeted about Kobe’s death … saying, “Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!”
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.
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The Los Angeles Times reports basketball icon Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in L.A.’s Calabasas hills:
Kobe Bryant, the NBA and MVP who spanned a 20-year career with the L.A. Lakers, was killed Sunday when the helicopter he was travelling in crashed and burst into flames Sunday morning amid foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas, sources told The Times.
The crash occurred shortly before 10 a.m. near Las Virgenes Road, south of Agoura Road, according to a watch commander for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The crash ignited a brush fire and made it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, he said. Sources at the scene said they believed there were multiple fatalities, but the exact number was unclear.
Bryant was 41 years old and is survived by his wife and their four daughters.
A 6-foot, 6-inch small forward with the ability to swing up front and play point or shooting guard, Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school. In 1996, he became the youngest player in NBA history.
He won five NBA titles in his time with the Lakers, as well as two Olympic gold medals playing for the United States. Now fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, with 33,643 points, Bryant won two NBA Finals MVP awards and one NBA regular-season MVP nod in 2008.
A native of Philadelphia, Bryant was selected No. 13 overall in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers. He wore both No. 8 and 24 with the Lakers, both of which were retired by the franchise.
This is a developing story…..
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Photo “Kobe Bryant” by Kobe Bryant.