Kobe Bryant Reportedly Dead in Helicopter Crash [Updated]

Illustration for article titled Kobe Bryant Reportedly Dead in Helicopter Crash [Updated]
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Basketball player Kobe Bryant has reportedly died. He was 41.

TMZ reports that Bryant and four others (Update: an LA Country Sheriff has clarified there were nine people on board) were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. According to the outlet: “A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived.”


This is a breaking news story. We will update this post as we learn more.

Update (3:40 p.m.)

TMZ has reported that Kobe’s daughter Gianna Maria was also on board and died in the crash.

Update (5:22 p.m.)

Los Angeles Daily News reports that Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli was also killed in the crash along with Bryant and Gianna. The other victims have not yet been identified.


Update (5:45 p.m.)

In a press conference held at 5:30 EST, the LA County Sheriff refused to name the deceased until all families can be notified but stated that there were no survivors when firefighters and paramedics arrived.


He clarified that the number of people onboard the helicopter was nine, not five as previously reported

Politicians, celebrities, and athletes offer there condolences.


Update (7:31 p.m.) 

CNN reports that John Altobelli’s wife Keri Altobelli and daughter Alyssa Altobelli were both onboard the helicopter as well. Alyssa was one of Gianna’s teammates at the Mamba Academy, and was traveling with the Bryants to Thousand Oaks for a game.


Update (9:18 p.m.) 

CNN reports that Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Corona Del Mar, California, was also onboard the helicopter. Her husband, Matt Mauser, confirmed her death on Facebook and asked for privacy.


freelance writer living in San Francisco. Please clap.


Brace and Break

I may be screaming into the void here but I need to let this out.

Last week, a very well known and popular guy from my community passed away quite unexpectedly. The outpouring of love and kind words has filled my Facebook feed since that day. People are devastated. And of course they are! He was a super nice guy always quick with a smile and a joke. He always remembered your name and was just generally fun to be around.

About 8 years ago we were at the same party and I decided to leave. He followed me downstairs and there in the vestibule very aggressively shoved his hand down my shirt and fondled my breasts. I somehow managed to get out of that situation and never told anyone about it until recently.

The pain of sexual assault is so real. The shame, confusion, anger, and feelings of vulnerability stay with you for years and years. We ran into each other a few times after the assault and I decided to just move past it. Maybe he was drunk? Maybe he doesn’t even remember doing what he did? I smiled at him and even hugged him. Hoping that it was all a misunderstanding, but in all honesty I was hoping for an apology. One that I never received and now never will.

That being said, his death has been complicated. I’m sad I can’t grieve him like everyone else and I’m angry that he’s gone and I’m left with that shitty memory, but I never once was anything other that sad about the fact that he was dead. He was a son, a friend, a brother and he meant so much to so many people and clearly these people meant a lot to him.

What I’m saying is that humans are complicated, not just in our actions but our responses. You can still feel sympathy for a dead rapist. It’s ok. We are all more than the sum of our actions and it is beyond hard to read how people here proudly state they feel nothing about his passing. It just seems so shallow. Maybe I’m nuts...