Update: it is now being reported by LA county officials that there were at least nine passengers on the helicopter at the time of the crash.
The crash allegedly ignited a brush fire, which made it difficult for emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, according to a watch commander for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
He made 18 All-Star teams over the course of his 20-year career with the Lakers.
TMZ is reporting that Kobe's 13 year old daughter Gianna was also aboard the helicopter and died in the crash.
"There are no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of loosing my neice Gigi & my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW !" he wrote.
"That was what we had most in common. We love our families. Whenever we got together I would hug his children like they were my own and he would embrace my kids like they were his. His baby girl Gianna was born on the same day as my youngest daughter Me’Arah. I miss you already brother. This is truly unbelievable. Everyone please keep the Bryant’s in your prayers. R.I.P"
"Love is forever," he wrote.
This story is developing.