LOS ANGELES — Hundreds of fans gathered at L.A. Live Plaza outside Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles Sunday 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 few of the fans who gathered outside the arena told KTLA’s Sam Rubin, “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.
The man who set up is flowers is named Gabriel Paredes. He heard about the news while driving in Hollywood. Went to a flower shop and had them make the bouquet, then came straight here
He said: “We’re in shock. These are things no one is expecting. I’m shaking.” https://t.co/YgLRtS2K25
— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) January 26, 2020
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.”
We’re aware of published reports regarding the helicopter crash in Calabasas today & we’re still in the process of confirming with @LASDHQ who was on board. As a reminder, the area around the Staples Center is closed due to the Grammys & fans will not be able to access the arena.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) January 26, 2020