The nation is in mourning amid news of the tragic passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, 41, was among five people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California early Sunday, TMZ first reported. The hall of famer, who won five NBA championships as a standout player with the Los Angeles Lakers, was aboard his private aircraft when it went down.
According to eyewitnesses, the helicopter’s engine was heard sputtering shortly before it crashed. All passengers, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, are confirmed dead.
Early reports say Kobe, his daughter, another parent and her daughter were headed to a girls’ basketball tournament in nearby Thousand Oaks when the copter crashed into a hillside, bursting into flames.
The identities of the other victims haven’t been confirmed.
As word of Bryant’s death spread, thousands of fans, athletes, former teammates and the like took to social media to share their disbelief.
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, and three daughters, Natalia, Bianca and their newborn baby Capri.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.