Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are reportedly sharing graphic images from the helicopter crash that claimed that life of Kobe Bryant and seven others, including shots that showed the remains of the victims.
A report this week from The Los Angeles Times claimed that first responders had been discussing how images of the dead victims and crash debris were being shared among some sheriff’s deputies. The report indicated that the officers sharing the pictures had nothing to do with the investigation, but instead were apparently circulating the graphic images for personal reasons.
Reports indicated that the scene of the fatal crash was devastating. Debris from the crash was spread out across a hillside in Calabasas, California, where it crashed in dense fog on January 26. Due to the rugged terrain of the crash site, it was difficult for first responders to immediately reach the crash, and all victims were reported to be dead on arrival and believed to have been killed on impact. The crash claimed the lives of both Kobe and Gianna Bryant along with Christina Mauser; Payton and Sarah Chester; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; and pilot Ara Zobayan.
It was not clear whether the deputies reportedly sharing the photos had taken the pictures themselves or if they were sharing copies of the official crime scene photos, and it was also unknown how widely circulated the pictures might be.
The crash itself remains under investigation, and a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board indicated that there was no sign of engine failure.
“Viewable sections of the engines showed no evidence of an uncontained or catastrophic internal failure,” the report said, via The Inquisitr. “The No. 2 engine first-stage compressor blades exhibited tip curl in the direction opposite of rotation, consistent with powered rotation at the time of impact.”
The full report is expected to take up to 18 months to complete.
The allegations of the crime scene photos being circulated among deputies comes just days after a public memorial for Bryant that was watched by millions. At the service, those who knew Kobe and Gianna spoke about their close relationship and Bryant’s deep love for basketball. His widow, Vanessa Bryant, also made her first public appearance since his death and delivered an emotional tribute to her late husband and daughter.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told The Los Angeles Times that they were investigating the photos of the crime scene reportedly circulating among officers. It was not clear if they faced potential discipline.