Early on Wednesday morning, authorities confirmed that a body found on Venice Beach was that of former WWE star Shad Gaspard. The wrestler vanished while swimming with his son Aryeh on Sunday.
According to a Los Angeles Police news release, police were called at around 1 a.m. after a citizen found a body at 27th Avenue and Ocean Front Walk. The 39-year-old was last seen by an L.A. County Lifeguard at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday. He, along with his son, were caught in the surf and needed assistance. Lifeguards managed to rescue his son but were unable to locate Gaspard after he was apparently pulled farther out to sea. According to one report, Gaspard told lifeguards to “focus on getting his 10-year-old son to shore safely,” but by the time they were able to return to where they spotted him, he had disappeared.
“When last seen by the lifeguard, a wave had crashed over Mr. Shad Gaspard and he was swept out to sea,” the sheriff’s department said.
Search parties, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Los Angeles County lifeguards, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, searched until sundown on Sunday, then used sonar on Monday and Tuesday in an effort to locate him, but were unsuccessful.
UPDATE: officials confirm description of pro wrestler Shad Gaspard matches that of the body discovered after washing up on shore in Venice Beach. @FOXLA @GDLA @LACoLifeguards 💔 pic.twitter.com/1EGKkglcNf
— Mario Ramirez (@MarioFOXLA) May 20, 2020
Gaspard is best known for his time as a member of the wrestling team Cryme Tyme, but left the WWE in 2010 to pursue an acting career. He had roles in 2015’s Get Hard with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, and The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time. Our sincerest condolences go out to the family, friends, and anyone affected by Gaspard’s passing.