The Malarkey Cutter
12:35 PM PT -- Kobe's daughter Gianna Maria Onore -- aka GiGi -- was also on board the helicopter and died in the crash ... reps for Kobe tell TMZ Sports. She was 13.
We're told they were on their way to the Mamba Academy for a basketball practice when the crash occurred. The Academy is in nearby Thousand Oaks.
Kobe Bryant died in a helicoper crash in Calabasas Sunday morning ... TMZ Sports has confirmed.
Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down. A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We're told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.
Eyewitnesses also tell us that they heard the helicopter's engine sputtering before it went down. As you can see, flames and smoke covered much of the scene from the wreck. The official cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years -- dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper.
KB is survived by his wife Vanessa. Together, they have four daughters -- Gianna, Natalia and Bianca and their newborn Capri. Kobe and Vanessa got married in 2001 after meeting in 1999.
A memorial to Kobe has already sprung up outside of Staples Center, where Kobe played for years.
Kobe Bryant Dead, Daughter Also Dies in Helicopter Crash