The body of former World Wrestling Entertainment star Shad Gaspard was found on Venice Beach early Wednesday morning, police said. He had been caught in a rip current last weekend while saving the life of his 10-year-old son, Aryeh.
He was 39.
The lifeguard on duty tried to deliver a “buoy-like device” to help bring the swimmers to shore. However, the waves were too strong and the boy couldn’t secure it.
Knowing the lifeguard had an impossible decision to save Gaspard or his son, Gaspard made the choice for him.
”Take my son,” Gaspard said, according to Kenichi Haskett, who ESPN reports had debriefed the lifeguard.
Aryeh was saved, as were several other swimmers.
According to authorities, Gaspard was about 50 yards away from the shore when a lifeguard last saw him. As the lifeguard turned back to try to save Gaspard, a wave pushed him under the impact zone and he was swept out to sea.
According to a police department statement, patrol officers were alerted that a body had washed ashore around 1:25 A.M. The body was identified as Gaspard’s, and his family was notified, police said.
Gaspard’s wife, Siliana, released a statement on Tuesday, thanking authorities as well as her husband’s fans.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the first responders who rescued Aryeh and to the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their continued efforts to help find our beloved Shad,” the statement said.
“Shad is a fighter, a warrior, and a magical soul,” Siliana Gaspard wrote Tuesday.
Gaspard was most known for his role in the tag-team group Cryme Time with his partner, JTG.
Gaspard retired from WWE in 2010. Since then, he has appeared in several roles on TV and in movies, including the Kevin Hart comedy “Get Hard” in 2015 and playing Muhammad Ali in “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time,” in 2018.