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BREAKING: Kobe Bryant Killed In Helicopter Crash

Former NBA star Kobe Bryant was killed in helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning, along with at least three other people who were on board.

“Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down,” TMZ reported. “A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We’re told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.”

Eyewitnesses told TMZ that they heard the helicopters’ engine sputtering immediately before it crashed.

“Kobe’s daughter Gianna Maria Onore — aka GiGi — was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash … reps for Kobe tell TMZ Sports. She was 13,” TMZ added. “We’re told they were on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred. The Academy is in nearby Thousand Oaks.”

ABC News appeared to falsely claimed that Bryant’s four daughters were on board the flight.

ABC News reporter Lindsey Mastis noted: “Our ABC affiliate in Los Angeles is reporting that Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife and four children, so it does not appear they were on board the helicopter.”

Mastis added: “Here are images from the Sheriff’s Department in Los Angeles showing the scene. They later confirmed all five people on board the helicopter died. Our ABC affiliate in LA found out Kobe Bryant was one of the people killed.”

“Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years — dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper,” TMZ added.

FOX Sports confirmed the news, writing: “Sources confirm to FOX Sports that NBA legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA. Rest in Peace, Kobe.”

President Donald Trump responded to news of Bryant’s death on Twitter, writing: “Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!”

In a report on his death, ESPN highlighted Bryant’s NBA career:

A 6-foot, 6-inch small forward with the ability to swing up front and play point or shooting guard, Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school. In 1996, he became the youngest player in NBA history.

He won five NBA titles in his time with the Lakers, as well as two Olympic gold medals playing for the United States. Now fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, with 33,643 points, Bryant won two NBA Finals MVP awards and one NBA regular-season MVP nod in 2008.

A native of Philadelphia, Bryant was selected No. 13 overall in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets before being traded to the Lakers. He wore both No. 8 and 24 with the Lakers, both of which were retired by the franchise.

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