‘Didn’t know where else to go:’ Fans gather outside Staples Center following death of Kobe Bryant

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LOS ANGELES -- Dozens of fans gathered Sunday afternoon, Jan. 26 at L.A. Live Plaza outside Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles following the death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

A remembrance of Kobe Bryant is displayed on an electronic billboard at L.A. Live Plaza on Jan. 26, 2020. 

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 showed 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, being held in the arena Sunday night.

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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