‘Didn’t Know Where Else to Go:’ Fans Gather Outside Staples Center Following Death of Kobe Bryant

National News

People gather around a makeshift memorial for former NBA star Kobe Bryant in front of Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 26, 2020. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Hundreds of fans gathered Sunday afternoon at L.A. Live Plaza outside Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles following the death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, who spent his entire 20-year career with the team, was killed in a helicopter crash earlier in the day. He was 41.

A remembrance of Kobe Bryant is displayed on an electronic billboard at L.A. Live Plaza on Jan. 26, 2020. The Lakers legend was killed in a plane crash earlier in the day. (KTLA)

A few of the fans who gathered outside the arena told KTLA’s Doug Kolk, “they didn’t know where else to go.”

Video from outside the arena shows one fan placing a wreath. Los Angeles Times sportswriter Jack Harris, who recorded the moment, tweeted that the fan heard the news while in Hollywood, purchased the flowers and then went directly to L.A. Live.

“We’re in shock. These are things no one is expecting. I’m shaking,” he told Harris.

Additional security measures, including fencing, were in place to accommodate the 2020 Grammy Awards, which are being held in the arena.

The Los Angeles Police Department discouraged fans from gathering, tweeting, “As a reminder, the area around the Staples Center is closed due to the Grammys & fans will not be able to access the arena.”

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