NBA legend and Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, was one of nine people killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning.
ESPN is reporting that Bryant’s daughter, Gianna Maria Onore, 13, was also on board the helicopter.
Media sources report that the passengers were on their way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks when a fire broke out inside the helicopter, potentially causing the fatal crash.
The wreckage has been found in the hills of Calabasas. Emergency personnel responded to the scene but were unable to find any survivors.
The official cause of the accident is still under investigation, though foggy weather conditions along the helicopter’s route were not ideal.
Bryant starred with the Lakers for 20 years, winning an incredible five NBA championships. In addition to being a beloved sports icon, he was also awarded an Oscar in 2018 for his animated short film Dear Basketball.
Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa Bryant. Married in 2001, the pair have four daughters: Gianna, Natalia, Bianca and recently born Capri.
Fans have begun to gather at the Staples Center to pay tribute to the beloved basketball star.
Bryant last spoke to the Weekly on the L.A. Weekly Weekly podcast with publisher Brian Calle.
There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/pigHywq3c1
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) January 26, 2020
Kobe Bryant was a giant who inspired, amazed, and thrilled people everywhere with his incomparable skill on the court — and awed us with his intellect and humility as a father, husband, creative genius, and ambassador for the game he loved. pic.twitter.com/hkb0lbRwie
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) January 26, 2020
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
I wonder if you would join me in embracing Vanessa Bryant.
Even though we’re not with her, Love travels and is transcendent. pic.twitter.com/gQfenBgoM8
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) January 26, 2020
I remember Kobe bringing his daughters to the WRINKLE IN TIME premiere and talking about its meaning for him as a father. He loved his girls so. LA weeps today, as do fans around the world. Goodbye, Kobe and Gianna. Our memories of you will live on and on. pic.twitter.com/rq2kEXPhOQ
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 26, 2020
I'm so sad and stunned right now. In Staples Arena, where Kobe created so many memories for all of us, preparing to pay tribute to another brilliant man we lost too soon, Nipsey Hussle. Life can be so brutal and senseless sometimes. Hold on to your loved ones. We miss you, Kobe
— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 26, 2020
This post will be updated as the story develops.