Kobe Bryant and His Daughter Killed in California Helicopter Crash

Former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning in Calabasas, California, according to local outlets and TMZ Sports.

Bryant, 41, was reportedly traveling with several other passengers in his private helicopter earlier this morning when the chopper experienced issues and crashed. TMZ said five people were confirmed dead after emergency personnel arrived at the scene. Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, was reportedly not in the helicopter when it crashed.

Kobe Bryant
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 28: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 28, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images/Getty

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office on Sunday afternoon had earlier confirmed that five people were killed in a Calabasas helicopter crash. Authorities said there were no survivors. They said Malibu deputies and Los Angeles County Fire personnel were currently investigating the scene.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office declined to link Bryant to the helicopter crash when asked by Newsweek over the phone at around 1 p.m. PST.

During a press conference at roughly 2:45 p.m. PST, the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that nine people were on board the aircraft: the pilot and eight individuals.

The department declined to identify any of the deceased until they have been officially identified by the coroner. It would be "entirely inappropriate" and "extremely disrespectful" to identify the names, you will be "notified in the subsequent," a spokesperson said.

The Los Angeles Times, after having reported the initial helicopter crash, confirmed that Bryant died in the incident. A source also confirmed to ESPN that Bryant was among those dead in the crash that happened outside LA.

A Newsweek analysis of flightradar24, which tracks flights through GPS, found that the crash of an Sikorsky S-76 helicopter occurred roughly at 9:45 a.m. local time near Calabasas, California on Sunday morning after taking off at 9:06 a.m. from John Wayne Airport, in Orange County, California.

According to the Weather Channel, clouds and fog was present in the area when the helicopter went down. It is unclear whether the weather played a role in the crash, however, a retired military helicopter pilot told Newsweek that it "looks like they were trying to get around the weather."

Kobe Bryant
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 29: Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on December 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images/Getty

Newsweek reached out to Bryant's publicist for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Bryant, a former American professional NBA player, dedicated his entire 20-year career to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was born in Philadelphia and joined the NBA after finishing high school. He has won five NBA championships and two Olympic gold medals as a member of Team USA in 2008 and 2012. Bryant retired in 2016.

In 2003, Bryant faced a felony sexual assault charge when a woman alleged he raped her at a resort in Colorado where she worked; Bryant said that the sex between him and the woman was consensual. When the victim did not to testify, prosecutors dropped the case. A civil suit was settled out of court.

In a statement released Sunday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said of Bryant's passing:

"For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning. He was one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game with accomplishments that are legendary: five NBA championships, an NBA MVP award, 18 NBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability. He was generous with the wisdom he acquired and saw it as his mission to share it with future generations of players, taking special delight in passing down his love of the game to Gianna.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Vanessa, and their family, the Lakers organization and the entire sports world."

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and their three children, according to People magazine.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Updated 9:29 PM ET

Kobe Bryant and His Daughter Killed in California Helicopter Crash | Sports