Updated Jan. 22, 2020, 4:40 p.m. ET:
Kobe Bryant was killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas according to multiple reports. Bryant’s daughter Gianna, 13, also died in the fatal crash with her father. Bryant’s wife Vanessa and daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months, were reportedly not on board.
According to TMZ, a fire broke out and emergency personnel responded but nobody on board survived.
Bryant, 41, and daughter Gianna were reportedly traveling from Newport Beach, California, to the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles when the aircraft caught fire. Sources told ESPN they were on their way to a basketball game when the chopper crashed and that another player and parent were also on board.
*AIRCRAFT DOWN* Battalion 5 units working a multiple fatality helicopter crash in #Calabasas the #NTSB is currently in route to this incident. @LASDHQ is on scene and assisting. This is the #Willow incident. Battalion 5 is Willow IC pic.twitter.com/j9shN0NnWY
— L.A. County Fire Department (@LACoFDPIO) January 26, 2020
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that five people died in the crash. The department also warned people to avoid the area as authorities work to address the scene.
The former NBA star who retired in 2016, spent his entire 20-year professional basketball career playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant won five NBA championships and made 18 All-Star teams. Although having recently retired, the late star kept busy — From starting a children’s podcast to writing books, as well as having won an Academy Award for the animated short Dear Basketball based on a poem he wrote in 2015 announcing his NBA retirement.
Bryant is survived by wife Vanessa, 37, and three of their four children together: daughters Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.