'An amazing human being': Tributes pour in for former WWE star Shad Gaspard as body discovered on Venice Beach (VIDEO)
A body discovered Wednesday near Venice Beach, California reportedly matched the description of missing former WWE star Shad Gaspard, according to first responders in the region.
Lifeguards from the Los Angeles County Fire Department confirmed to USA Today that two members of the public had discovered the body washed up on the shore and called 911.
Subsequent identification of the body said that it matched that of Gaspard, who went missing while swimming on Sunday afternoon.Also on rt.com 'Don't ask what happened': Ex-WWE star's wife pleads for help after wrestler VANISHES amid fears he DROWNED in beach tragedy
Speaking to USA Today, LACFD's Lifeguard captain AJ Lester said, "The description did match that of our missing swimmer."
He then explained that the body was of "an African-American male, approximately 6' 6", over 240 pounds so it matched the description of the missing swimmer that had gone missing during the rescue efforts that we had conducted here Sunday afternoon."
BREAKING: The search for missing former WWE star wrestler Shad Gaspard is over. Officials say his body washed ashore on Venice Beach. Gaspard was swept away by strong waves while swimming with his young son. Witnesses say Gaspard told lifeguards to save his son first. #RIPShadpic.twitter.com/6xXNHS31jZ— Steve Kuzj (@SteveKuzj) May 20, 2020
An official identity confirmation will be conducted by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office.
Gaspard disappeared after going swimming with his 10-year-old son when the pair got into difficulties after a large wave struck them. Gaspard's son Aryeh was subsequently rescued by lifeguards, but Gaspard could not be found.
A mass search, including three lifeguard trucks and a helicopter, was immediately launched in a bid to rescue Gaspard, with LA County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Trina Schrader telling the media, "We're using all resources to try to recover him as soon as possible."
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
The former WWE star, who found fame inside the squared circle as part of the tag team "Cryme Tyme," had left the company in 2010 and was looking to move into acting.
Wrestling broadcaster Peter Rosenberg tweeted his condolences, saying, "Shad Gaspard died a hero – sending help to his son who was also in need. By all accounts, he was an amazing human being. I wish I had gotten to know him. Rest Easy Shad. Praying for your family and friends."
Shad Gaspard died a hero -- sending help to his son who was also in need. By all accounts, he was an amazing human being. I wish I had gotten to know him. Rest Easy Shad. Praying for your family and friends ❤️ https://t.co/2rDobmhbJB— Peter Rosenberg (@Rosenbergradio) May 20, 2020
And WWE's EVP of Global Talent Strategy and Development Paul Levesque, better known as "Triple H," tweeted: "I join fans around the world as we remember Shad Gaspard as a beloved performer and a caring father.
"In absolutely tragic circumstances, please keep his loved ones in your thoughts."