Heartbreaking news out of California this morning as former WWE star Shad Gaspard is missing after being pulled underwater as lifeguards attempted to help a group of Venice Beach swimmers caught in a rip tide. TMZ says that Shad and his son were part of the group, with Shad being lost after insisting rescuers help his son first.
Gaspard’s son was rescued — but the 39-year-old pro wrestler has not been located.
One official working with the L.A. Fire Dept. told media they believe the 39-year-old “did submerge.” Divers were sent to scour the area. Helicopters were searching from above. One witness at the scene tells us … when lifeguards raced into the ocean, Gaspard directed rescuers to help his son first, which they did.
During the rescue, we’re told another big wave crashed down on Gaspard — and that’s the last time he was seen.
A CBS report adds that rescuers looked for Gaspard until calling off the effort at 7:30 pm, and that they will, “continue searching the surrounding land areas throughout the night before also resuming underwater operations Monday morning.” Shad’s wife has made posts on social media asking anyone with any information on his whereabouts to contact 911 or the family (which you can contact here).
Divers are getting back in the water to search for a father who got swept away in rip currents last night. TMZ has identified him as former #WWE star Shad Gaspard. His 10 yr old son was rescued. @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/rBpKiasD3G
— Tina Patel (@tina_patel) May 18, 2020
Shad joined WWE in 2002 after making it to the finals of Tough Enough 2, and performed there until 2007. He would return in 2008 and remain in the company for two more years. Shad’s best known as one half of the tag team Cryme Tyme alongside JTG, although his post-WWE career has seen him do everything from motion capture for Kratos in God of War for PS4 to playing Muhammad Ali in The Last Sharknado.
We’ll keep you updated on the story, and will hopefully follow up with a relieved post about how he’s been found, and everything’s okay. We’re sending our best thoughts and as much love as we can.