Former WWE superstar Shad Gaspard has gone missing after going swimming with his son at Venice Beach on May 17.
Gaspard and his son were caught in a rip current around 4 p.m. with lifeguards rushing to pull swimmers in. Fortunately, Gaspard's 10-year-old son was rescued, but Gaspard has not been located. A witness says that Gaspard directed the lifeguards to save his son first. A wave reportedly crashed down onto Gaspard and that was the last time he was seen.
According to TMZ, an official working with the L.A. Fire Department believes Gaspard submerged. Divers and helicopters searched the scene, but Gaspard has yet to be found.
Gaspard's wife Siliana made the following post on her Instagram stories.
According to Shad Gaspard’s wife, Siliana, Shad has gone missing. If you see or know anything, please alert his family pic.twitter.com/LqY78XfvmM— Kyle Lewis (@KeepItFiveStar) May 18, 2020
On Wednesday morning, multiple outlets in Los Angeles reported that an unidentified body matching the description of Gaspard was found washed ashore. It was later confirmed that the body was that of Gaspard.
#BreakingNews Investigators say a body, matching the description of the missing father, former WWE wrestling star Shad Gaspard, has washed ashore in Venice. He was swept away by a rip current while swimming with his 10 yr old son. Son was rescued by lifeguards. @NBCLA pic.twitter.com/JR2MpZzHah— Daniella Guzman (@DaniellaNBCLA) May 20, 2020
BREAKING: Body now confirmed as Shad Gaspard. Heartbreaking news after he got in trouble swimming at Venice Beach on Sunday— Luke Gardener (@LukeGardener82) May 20, 2020
Gaspard made his WWE television debut in October 2006 alongside JTG as part of Cryme Tyme.
On the evening of Monday, May 18th, 2020, many wrestlers including Jay Lethal from Ring of Honor, Ezekiel Jackson, and Kofi Kingston tweeted out a statement saying that Chad's family appreciates the support but is not ready to make an official statement to the public.
@Shadbeast ‘s family appreciates all the love, support, and concern through this horrible ordeal. At this time they are not ready to make any public or official statements to any media outlet And ask all to respect their wishes.— ---- KOF’ KRINGLE ---- (@TrueKofi) May 19, 2020
WWE and Vince McMahon also issued the following statements:
WWE’s thoughts are with the family of Shad Gaspard. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/uBk0Qo9lXt— WWE (@WWE) May 19, 2020
The thoughts of everyone at WWE are with Shad Gaspard’s family during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/dLRnF6oElX— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) May 19, 2020
On Tuesday morning, TMZ was told by the US Coast Guard that the search to find Gaspard has been suspended though there is still one boat still searching. The case will not be closed until officials find him. The LAPD confirmed to FOX News that their search has not been suspended.
Chris Masters has said that he will be searching Venice Beach for Shad and encouraged others to join him.
Gaspard's family would send an official release, expressing gratitude to the first responders who rescued Gaspard's son.
"We would like to express our gratitude to the first responders who rescued Aryeh and to the lifeguards, coast guards, divers, fire and police departments for their continued efforts to help find out beloved Shad.
Shad is a fighter, a warrior and a magical soul. We are hoping and praying for his safe return. As a family we thank you all for your concern and well wishes. Please continue to keep sending your positivity and prayers to our beloved Shad.
The Gaspard Family"
Official statement from Shad Gaspard’s family. Keep them in your thoughts today.-- pic.twitter.com/5vYTYDReuP— Scott Fishman (@smFISHMAN) May 19, 2020
If you have any information about the whereabouts of Gaspard, please call 911.