NBA Legend Kobe Bryant among the nine killed in a helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, on January 26, 2020.
In a press conference Sunday evening, Los Angeles Police Department revealed… that Kobe, his daughter, and three others were among the dead.
“Today short’y before 10:00 at 9:47 a.m. the Los Angeles Fire Department received a 911 call of a potential helicopter down in a brush fire.. in the city of Calabassas,” Chief Osby from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s station said. “Upon arrival our firefighters discovered approximately a quarter acre brush fire that resulted from the crash on the hillside.”
“The LAFD initial response was 15 pieces of apparatus and 56 personnel that consisted of paramedics, heavy rescue, truck company, hand crews, and aircraft and chief officer to oversee the crash. Upon arrival of the Sherrif’s department, our two departments worked together. Our firefighters hiked in to th accident site to their medical equipment and hosed lines to extinguish the stubborn fire, as it included the brush fire, depress from the helicopter, and the fire also included magnesium, which was very hard for our firefighters to extinguish… Earlier into the incident our firefighters did a search of the area for survivors, unfortunately all the survivors on board were determined to be perished. The investigation is still ongoing.”
“We’ve established a containment area.”
“Nine people on board the aircraft, the pilot, plus eight other people.” No identities have been confirmed.
“It would be extremely disrespectful to make those identities at the time and once next of kin have bene identified. We are going to wait until the coroner does their job.”
Kobe was 41 years old.The incident happened in Calabassas, California at 10:01 a.m. after the helicopter took off and caught fire shortly after.
On Twitter, current and former NBA players shared their disbelief in learning that Kobe had died.
Kobe’s former Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neal posted to Instagram to say he was sick over the news.
“There’s no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board,” O’Neal wrote.
Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban wrote:”We can never forget how precious life is. How those who are special to you and never let them forget how deeply you love them.”
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the Calabasas California helicopter crash.“A S-76 helicopter crashed this morning under unknown circumstances near Calabasas, Calif. Local authorities say that five people were on board. Please check with local authorities for more information on the condition of the occupants,” the FAA said in its statement.
Kobe was heading to the the Mamba Sports Academy. Kids and parents were awaiting Kobe and his daughters’ arrival as they set to set to play in a tournament at 12 noon PST.
Gasps, shocks, and children were on bended knees praying at the academy when they first learned of the news.
According to the aviation weather center, Kobe’s helicopter took off during foggy conditions which prevented other choppers from flying.
Thousands showed up to the Staple center to pay tribute to the all star athlete.
Kobe started his career in the NBA with the Lakers in 1996 earning five championship titles. He retired 20 years later in 2016 after succumbing to several injuries.
After retiring, Kobe earned a Oscar for Best Animated Short Film titled “Dear Basketball.”
He is survived by his four daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months and wife, Vanessa, 37.