There were no survivors.
Those on board the 12-seat helicopter included
The identities of all victims would not be announced until families are notified, said Sheriff
The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76B, took off from
The crash, in the area of
MAP: The route of the helicopter flight
The downed chopper triggered a small fire that was quickly put out.
Two men working at the Church in the Canyon, a small Presbyterian congregation on
Jerry Kosharian, 62, a longtime facilities manager for the church, was drinking his coffee and talking on his phone in the parking lot when he heard a helicopter buzzing by.
Something was wrong. The helicopter sounded too low, he thought.
KOBE BRYANT CRASH: Click for complete coverage
"It sounded like the engine was struggling," Kosharian said.
Kosharian never saw the helicopter. The clouds Sunday morning were too thick and low. But as he turned to the sound coming from the side of the hill, he saw fireballs raining down around the crash site.
"He was in the soup," Daehlin said, referring to the low cloud cover Sunday morning.
Daehlin's dad was a pilot. Daehlin said he thinks the helicopter lost visibility entirely and was looking for a landmark to tell him where he was.
He heard the explosion, he said, then silence.
A review of radio communications between the
An 18-member team from the
The Lakers confirmed that Bryant, 41, was one of the victims.
"We can confirm that
Mauser was an assistant coach to Bryant in youth basketball, said
News of Bryants' death brought messages of grief and heartache from fans and professional athletes alike, from team owners and playground enthusiasts. Crowds gathered at
LAX's pylons were lit in purple and gold in memory of Bryant and the others.
Hundreds of people gathered throughout the day on Las Virgenes, gawking up at the still smoldering crash site. A few firefighters and other officials killed around the small crater.
Wreckage was visible, but little of the Sikorsky helicopter remained, only bits and pieces.
From the sidewalk on the west side of the road, fans and other onlookers stood around for hours behind police tape. Some in jerseys -- several wearing No. 8, Kobe's first jersey as a Laker, others wearing hats and sweatshirts in purple and gold -- sobbed and held each other.
"I'm heartbroken. I'm stunned," Miller said.
Bryant and the others were en route to the
"He will live forever in the heart of
Known as the "Black Mamba," Bryant's influence on the community shown in the tearful emojis twittered by the young fans who grew up with the 20-year Laker. The five-time NBA champion, the 17-time
His path was not always easy or without controversy. In 2003, he was accused of sexual assault by a hotel worker with whom he admitted to having consensual sex. The criminal charge was latter dropped.
"Most of the world knew Kobe as a celebrity and superstar. My discussions were not about his fame, but the role he wanted to play in the community," Haddad said in a statement. "I was fortunate enough to see what he stood for as a real human being."
"It was in those moments I realized there were ideas and issues we shared in common around community and how to make a difference," he said.
Entertainer Cherm tweeted: "My heart goes out to Kobe's family, friends, fans. It's so hard to deal with the death of a great star because we feel as if we knew them personally.
Bryant lived in
Bryant, one of the NBA's all-time greats, last tweeted himself Saturday night, congratulating current Lakers superstar
"Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother," the tweet said.
"We just want people to stay away," Los Angeles County Sheriff
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