Former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard disappeared while swimming with his 10-year-old son in Marina del Rey in Venice Beach on Sunday, and as of Tuesday morning the Coast Guard has given up its search to find him. WWE released its first statement regarding Gaspard's disappearance on Tuesday afternoon, writing, "WWE's thoughts are with the family of Shad Gaspard. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts during this difficult time." Gaspard was a contestant on the second season of WWE's competition show Tough Enough, then trained in Ohio Valley Wrestling for three years before moving to the main roster alongside JTG as the tag team Cryme Tyme.
Gaspard left the company in 2010 but continued to wrestle on the independent scene up through this past January.
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
Shortly after the news about the search ending broke, Gaspard's family released a statement.
"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 read. "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 Entire Gaspard & Chittick Family."
Since the news first broke, dozens of wrestlers have taken to social media to pray for Gaspard's safe return.
View this post on Instagram
Shad Gaspard had a HUGE heart. He was like an annoying little brother at times. We often gave eachother a hard time, but always with love! He always had a big smile on his face and was ready to share a laugh! I have had a LOT of friends and colleagues die. This one hurts different. We shared this incredible moment together. I was angry at him for sharing it. When this video went viral and people expressed their reactions to OUR reaction I realized Shad made the right call. I called him to apologize for cussing him out. We laughed. He recently sent me some of the screenplays he was working on. He had big goals. Big plans. His final act on this earth was to give his life to save his son's. A son, a husband, a father, a friend. A hero...