Former WWE superstar Shad Gaspard has passed away at the age of 39.
Gaspard went missing on Sunday, May 17 in Venice Beach when he was pulled under by a rip current. Gaspard and his 10-year-old son were swimming when the riptide began and lifeguards rushed to rescue them. Gaspard directed lifeguards to save his son, which they did. Unfortunately, Gaspard was pulled under.
The coast guard and police searched for Gaspard over the next three days but were unable to locate him. His body was found washed ashore on Wednesday morning.
Gaspard made his WWE television debut in 2006 as a member of Cryme Tyme alongside his tag team partner JTG. Cryme Tyme were regulars on WWE television, most notably feuding with Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch. The duo was released in September 2007, which began a short run on the Independent scene.
Gaspard & JTG were brought back by WWE in March 2008. They would link up with John Cena in a feud against JBL before feuding with Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes. Cryme Tyme split in April 2010 with Gaspard turning on JTG. Gaspard would make his final WWE television appearance on May 14 before being released on November 19.
Outside the ring, Gaspard made headlined in December 2016 when he prevented an armed robbery at a gas station in Coral Springs, Florida. He also appeared on multiple television shows and movies, including "Key & Peele," "Think Like a Man Too," and "Get Hard."
WWE posted the following tribute to Gaspard:
WWE is saddened to learn that former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard has passed away at the age of 39.
Gaspard had gone missing while swimming with his son at Venice Beach in California on May 17. In his final act, Gaspard instructed lifeguards to save his son’s life.
Gaspard was best known in WWE as one-half of Cryme Tyme with JTG. The fan-favorite duo memorably joined forces with John Cena during his 2008 rivalry with JBL, and competed for the WWE Tag Team Titles at SummerSlam 2009. Shad and JTG would later square off in heated fashion after a falling out in 2010.
Before entering the squared circle, Gaspard played basketball at Georgia Perimeter College. He was also a former bodyguard for P.Diddy, Britney Spears and Mike Tyson.
Admired by friends and colleagues for his warmth and humor, Gaspard was no stranger to heroic deeds. In 2016, he broke up an armed robbery in Coral Springs, Fla., pinning the suspect to the ground until police arrived.
Gaspard was also a multitalented individual, creating his own graphic novel and acting in several TV shows and films, including “Brothers” and “Think Like a Man Too.”
WWE extends it condolences to Gaspard’s family, friends and fans.
On behalf of Fightful, we would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Shad Gaspard.