Kobe Bryant Dead Following Helicopter Crash
Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash on Sunday (Jan. 26).
The NBA icon passed away in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning. TMZ broke the story first, while ABC7 sports anchor and reporter Curt Sandoval confirmed his death on Twitter. CNN also confirmed the news.
"Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down," TMZ first reported. An apparent fire broke out and when emergency services arrived, all passengers were already dead.
Nine people are confirmed dead from the crash, including Bryant and the pilot. TMZ also reports that one of Bryant's daughters, 13-year-old Gianna "GiGi" Marie Onore, had been on board as well and is also dead. A basketball teammate of Gianna's, Alyssa Altobelli, and her parents, Keri and John Altobelli were also identified among the deceased.
His wife Vanessa Bryant was reportedly not on board.
Kobe and Vanessa shared four daughters: Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and Capri. Capri was born in June 2019.
Kobe's historic basketball career earned his jersey numbers, 8 and 24, to be retired by the Lakers, making him the only player in history to hold that honor.