TMZ: Firefighters Who Took & Shared Photos of Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Crash to Be Fired
Two Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters will reportedly lose their jobs for allegedly taking photos of the late NBA star Kobe Bryant at the helicopter crash scene in Calabasas, California.
According to TMZ, Vanessa Bryant's legal team received paperwork from the LA Fire Department's internal investigation, stating that they sent "intention to discharge" letters to two of the department's employees.
These two employees - a firefighter and a safety officer- reportedly took pictures of Vanessa's late husband, Kobe Bryant, and other helicopter crash victims on January 26, 2020.
Vanessa and Kobe Bryant at An Unforgettable Evening benefiting EIF's Women's Cancer Research Fund on May 2, 2013. | Photo: Getty Images
The victims of the crash included their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven other persons. They were on their way to Kobe's sports facility in Thousand Oaks for a youth basketball tournament.
Based on the document TMZ obtained, the safety officer took graphic shots of the dead victims while securing the crash site. The two employees eventually shared the photos with the department's media relations officer who shared them with other colleagues.
This prompted the internal department investigators to send the media relations officer a suspension notice. However, the LA Fire Department officials have yet to comment on the reported suspension notice
Meanwhile, the fate of the other two employees remains unclear. They add to the list of those who allegedly took photos of the crash site. Earlier, at least eight deputies from the L.A. County Department reportedly committed the same act.
Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he was horrified when he learned about the transgressions and immediately ordered his deputies to delete the photos. Admitting their mistake, the deputies deleted the images.
The pain remains fresh for Vanessa more than a year after losing Kobe and Gianna. She expressed her sorrow in an emotional social media post during the duo's first death anniversary.
The grieving mother said she could never understand why her husband and daughter, who she described as beautiful and kind, had to suffer the tragedy. She also missed them deeply.
In a previous interview, Vanessa admitted that the pain she's feeling is overwhelming. But even as she continues to grieve, she said she is determined to move forward for her daughters.
Aside from Gianna, the 39-year-old mom has three other daughters - Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and one-year-old Capri. She said her daughters are her saving grace and her source of strength.
As she silently rebuilds herself, Vanessa said the memory of Kobe and Gianna's unconditional love for their family inspires her to keep going. She wants to make them proud.
At present, she is managing unfinished creative projects at Granity Studios, Kobe's multimedia company. She also relaunched her husband's charitable non-profit as the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.