Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in helicopter crash, 7 others dead

Kobe Bryant dead in an apparent helicopter crash according to multiple media reports. (MGN)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others are dead after their helicopter went down in Southern California.

The chopper crashed Sunday in Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Authorities said that nine people were aboard the helicopter and presumed dead.

A person familiar with the crash tells The Associated Press that Bryant was among the victims. A second person familiar with the case says Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna also was killed.

Bryant was an all-time basketball great who won five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Word of Bryant’s death is rocketing around the sports and entertainment worlds, with many stars taking to Twitter to register their shock, disbelief and dismay.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the Calabasas California helicopter crash, the FAA said in a statement.

On Saturday, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James passed Bryant for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list during the Lakers' game with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Bryant, who retired in 2016 after spending his entire career with the Lakers, scored 33,643 points.

Bryant tweeted congratulations to James soon after he was surpassed on the all-time scoring list. It would be his last tweet before his death, CNN reports.

A 6-foot-6 guard, Bryant made his pro debut in the 1996-97 season with the Lakers. At the time, he was the youngest player ever to appear in an NBA game.

He would go on to win five NBA championships with the Lakers.