NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his oldest daughter, Gianna, were killed in a fiery helicopter crash in California today.
It was later confirmed that 13-year-old Gianna did not survive the crash.
Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa were also among the nine people killed in the crash, officials said.
Another victim was Christina Mauser, Bryant’s assistant coach in youth basketball.
The chopper came down after getting into trouble flying in thick fog.
He had been in communication with air traffic control as he circled above Burbank, California for around 15 minutes.
Just seconds before the crash an operator in the control tower was heard saying,”you’re too low” as he lost contact with the aircraft.
Moments later the helicopter smashed into a hillside.
President Trump called the reports of Bryant’s death “terrible news.”
A “shocked” Michael Jordan lamented the passing of his “little brother” and the “amazing dad.”
Former teammate and Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal was “sick” and speechless over the loss of his “niece” and “brother.”
Former US President Barack Obama mourned the “heartbreaking” loss of the NBA great and his teenage daughter.
Kobe’s mom Pamela Bryant answered her door in Las Vegas in tears and said she was too upset to comment.
When asked if she had anything to say, she said: “Not right now.” She then confirmed she was “Kobe’s mom”.
Neighbors at the Vegas community could be seen bringing flowers and food to the grieving mom.
Pamela and Kobe had a trained relationship in the years before his death.
The mother and son had a huge falling out in 2013 after he discovered his family secretly tried to sell his memorabilia without his consent.
Bryant shared an extremely close relationship with his daughter, Gianna, who had her own aspirations of being a basketball star one day.
In a previous interview, a proud Kobe said his daughter was “hell-bent” on one day playing for the dynastic University of Connecticut women’s basketball team.
Gianna then hoped to forge her own career in the WNBA.
On Sunday evening, some of the final images of Bryant and his daughter were revealed from a day earlier.
In the images from Saturday, Bryant could be seen proudly watching on as Gianna played two eight-grade games for Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.
In others, the proud father, who often coached Gianna’s team, could be seen giving a pep talk.
It was reported that Kobe would often take Gianna and her teammates to watch professional games, advising them during certain plays and situations.
Bryant’s helicopter took off from Long Beach at 8:29 a.m PST on Sunday, then touched down again just eight minutes later in Orange County.
It is believed the stop was to pick up Bryant and the other passengers.
The helicopter then took off again 30 minutes later at 9:06 a.m. PST but never reached its final destination.
It spent around 15 minutes circling above Burbank, California, halfway through its flight, before setting off on the fateful finally leg.
The chopper was trying to turn when it crashed into hills.
Experienced LA helicopter pilot Phillipe Lesourd thinks this may have been to wait before getting clearance to continue their journey because of the bad weather.
The helicopter came down in what’s been described as very foggy conditions.
LAPD grounded their air support because the conditions were so bad, according to TMZ
Pilot Lesourd talked to The Sun about the treacherous weather.
He said: “The visibility was so bad… The conditions were very, very poor.
“I flew with my wife last week and there was fog inside the Malibu Canyon and we turned around because there was no visibility. Today would have been even worse.
“When there is no visibility, when something happens you don’t see the ground coming.”
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