‘My Heart is Broken’: Arizonans Respond to the Death of Kobe Bryant


By Camaron Stevenson

January 27, 2020

Plus other top stories that happened in Arizona over the weekend.

News of NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California, has people across the nation and globe in shock and mourning. All nine passengers on board died in the crash, including Gianna, Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter.

Basketball players and fans took to social media shortly after news broke of the 18-time NBA Allstar’s death to offer their condolences to his family.

Today, people across the nation, globe, and in Arizona are continuing to honor the lives of the NBA legend, his daughter, and the seven other passengers who have all been identified.

Bryant, 41, is survived by his wife, Vanessa and children, Natalia Diamante, Bianka Bella, and Capri Kobe Bryant.

Arizona’s longest-living veteran passes away

Navajo Nation member and longest-living Arizona veteran Sophie Yazzie also passed away this weekend. Yazzie died in her home in Tucson on Saturday at the age of 105.

Born in 1914, Yazzie enlisted in the army at the age of 28 and served during World War II. In a statement posted on Facebook, Arizona Department of Veteran Services Director Wanda Wright announced Yazzie’s passing.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Sophie Yazzie. Sophie, a WWII veteran, died today at the age of 105 surrounded by her family,” the statement reads. “I am blessed to have met Sophie and hear about her service to our country.”

Gov. Doug Ducey also commemorated Yazzie on Twitter, stating that “Arizona is forever grateful for her service.”

Missing marine’s vehicle found in eastern Arizona

On Saturday, Police located the vehicle of missing Marine Jesse Conger near San Carlos, Arizona. The 2015 Toyota Camry was roughly 100 miles from Conger’s last known whereabouts in Scottsdale, Arizona.

His family said he suffered from PTSD after years in the Marines, serving overseas in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s been missing since Aug. 14, 2019.

The case is still under investigation.

Anybody with information that could lead to finding Conger is asked to call the Scottsdale Police Department at 480-312-5000, or Conger’s sister, Patricia Conger at 619-871-7097 or conger.patricia1313@gmail.com.



  • Camaron Stevenson

    Camaron is the Founding Editor and Chief Political Correspondent for The Copper Courier, and has worked as a journalist in Phoenix for over a decade. He also teaches multimedia journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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