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LAPD’s statement after Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant, Lakers

The Los Angeles Police Department has released an official statement following the tragic passing of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter accident early Sunday morning.

The L.A. Fire Department closed the scene and said onlookers witnessed the aircraft crash, prompting LAFD to arrive at the scene shortly thereafter. The plane type S76 was confirmed, but there is no indication whether the aircraft was in “distress:”

Authorities and news outlets everywhere have since confirmed Bryant was among the individuals on board the helicopter at the time of the crash:

Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, was reportedly not inside the helicopter at the time of the crash. Bryant is also survived by his four children.

The NBA community has lost one of the greatest players in the history of the game. Kobe’s passing comes less than 24 hours after current Lakers star LeBron James passed him on the all-time scoring list. James spoke after the game about the impact Bryant had on his life:

Bryant had set about enjoying his post-retirement career as a storyteller and youth basketball coach for his daughter, Gigi. Kobe founded Granity Studios with the mission of providing athletes with stories about work ethic and dedication. He even won an Academy Award for his short film entitled “Dear Basketball.”

As one might expect, professional athletes, coaches and executives have all taken to social media to offer their condolences and lament the loss of an icon.

More details are sure to follow, but for now the sporting world mourns one of its brightest stars.