One of the last things Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna did before they died in a fatal helicopter crash on Sunday was attend church.
Father Steve Sallot with Our Lady Queen of Angels church in Newport Beach, Orange County, spoke to a local media outlet about the father and daughter attending mass.
“He was here before the 7 a.m. mass and that’s our first mass of the day,” Father Sallot told KABC in an on-camera interview. “So he would obviously have been in the prayer chapel before that and he was leaving about 10 to 7.” CBS News has reached out to Father Sallot and the church for more.
Father Sallot said Kobe and Gianna, known as Gigi, received communion before boarding that fatal flight. Seven other people were also killed when the helicopter went down in foggy conditions on the way to a youth basketball tournament.
Our Lady Queen of Angels parishioners prayed a rosary for the lives lost on Monday. All of those killed were beloved members of the Orange County community, CBS Los Angeles reports.
One of the victims, Christina Mauser, was a coach at Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar. She helped Bryant coach his daughter’s youth basketball team, the Mambas. Mauser was also a mother of three.
John Altobelli was an Orange Coast College baseball coach for 28 years. He led the team to win the 2019 state baseball championship and was named the National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association this offseason, according to CBS Los Angeles.
Also killed in the crash were Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and youngest daughter, Alyssa, who played alongside Gigi on the team that Bryant coached.
Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton, who was an eighth-grader at St. Margaret’s School, were also killed.
Ara Zoboyan, who was flying the helicopter, was a well-known pilot and flight instructor out of Huntington Beach, CBS Los Angeles reports.
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