So many paparazzi, mourners, and ‘looky-loos’ have swarmed the site of Kobe Bryant’s death that officers are patrolling the area on horses and ATVs

A composite image of Los Angeles law-enforcement officers on horseback at the helicopter crash site and a photo of Kobe Bryant. Mark J. Terrill/AP; Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
  • Kobe Bryant and eight other people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday morning.
  • Los Angeles law-enforcement officials, coroners, and federal transport authorities are all investigating.
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters Monday that many unauthorised people, including mourners, paparazzi, and “looky-loos,” had been trying to access the site by foot or drone.
  • The sheriff is now deploying officers on horseback and quad bikes to patrol the area and has issued an emergency ordinance making it a misdemeanour to access the crash site without permission.
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The site of the NBA star Kobe Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash has attracted so many paparazzi, fans, and drones that the Los Angeles County sheriff is deploying officers on horseback to keep them away, officials said.

Bryant’s private Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed Sunday morning in foggy conditions, and federal transport authorities are investigating. All nine people aboard, including Bryant and one of his daughters, died.

Several people unauthorised to access the crash site have been trying to go by foot or by drone, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters Monday, according to the New York Post, Fox News, and NBC’s Charlie Gile.

Los Angeles officials on Sunday had already sealed off the roads surrounding the crash site.

Villanueva did not say how many people had been trying to enter the police perimeter but described them as a mixture of “well-wishers, looky-loos, people that are grieving.”

“Unfortunately we had an inordinate amount of interest in accessing the crash site by unauthorised personnel so we’re now patrolling the area on horseback – old-fashioned technology,” Villanueva said Monday, according to Fox News.

Kobe bryant crash site horseback
Sheriff’s deputies on horseback leaving the site of Bryant’s helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Monday. Mark J. Terrill/AP

Law-enforcement officers had been “able to basically shoo everyone away” without making any arrests, but so many people had been trespassing the police perimeter that the sheriff was deploying patrol officers on horseback and all-terrain vehicles, the New York Post reported.

“We also have deputies on ATV patrolling the area and perimeter because it’s very rugged terrain and very difficult to access and we want to make sure everyone stays where they should be,” Fox News cited Villaneuva as saying.

The sheriff’s office has also issued an emergency ordinance making it a misdemeanour to unlawfully access the site of the crash, CNN and CBS News reported.

Los Angeles authorities also plan to keep roads closed and to restrict flights near and over the crash site, CNN reported Villanueva as saying. Local residents will also have to show proof they live in the area to enter it.

The coroner is still recovering remains from the crash site, CNN reported. On Sunday, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said it would take at least two days to complete recovery efforts because of foggy conditions in the area.

Jennifer Homendy, a member of the investigating National Transportation Safety Board, on Monday described the crash scene as “pretty devastating” and said the debris field had a 500- to 600-foot radius.