Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash; fans pray for NBA star's family

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is nearing his 20th season in the NBA. |

[UPDATE]Jan. 26, 2020, 5:52 p.m.: The LA County Sheriffs confirmed at a press conference Sunday afternoon that nine people were in the helicopter at the time of the crash and that none survived. Names of the deceased were not released.

Kobe Bryant was among nine who died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in California, which was first reported by TMZ. The NBA star, 41, was traveling in his private helicopter when it crashed in Calabasas.

A call for a downed helicopter went out around 10:00 a.m. local time, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Firefighters arrived at the scene and put out the flames, including the brushfire that resulted from the crash.

The Sheriff's Department confirmed that all nine people, including the pilot, on the helicopter were deceased.

"Unfortunately there were no survivors," said Tony Imbrenda of the Los Angeles County Fire. 

At a Sunday press conference, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said though there's wide speculation, "It would be entirely inappropriate right now to identify anyone by name until the coroner has made the identification ... It would be extremely disrespectful to understand that your loved one who is perished and you learn about it from TMZ. That is just wholly inappropriate. We're going to wait until the coroner does their job."

The shocking news have left fans offering prayers for Bryant's family. Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, have four daughters.

An investigation is underway. The LA County Sheriffs will announce details of the crash later this afternoon.

Originally posted at

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