Former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard was declared missing after he and his son were caught in a riptide at Marina del Rey beach in Venice Beach, California on Sunday. Lifeguards were able to rescue his 10-year-old after he instructed them to do so, but he was submerged by another large wave shortly afterwards. He has not been seen since, and local officials called off their search on Sunday evening and resumed on Monday. As of this writing he has not been found. On Monday night several wrestlers, including WWE's Kofi Kingston and Ring of Honor's Jay Lethal, posted a statement on behalf of Gaspard's family.
"Gaspard's family appreciates all the love, support, and concern through this horrible ordeal," the statement read. "At this time they are not ready to make any public or official statements to any media outlet And ask all to respect their wishes."
. @Shadbeast ‘s family appreciates all the love, support, and concern through this horrible ordeal. At this time they are not ready to make any public or official statements to any media outlet And ask all to respect their wishes.— 🎅🏿 KOF’ KRINGLE 🎅🏿 (@TrueKofi) May 19, 2020
Gaspard first stepped into the world of professional wrestling as a competitor on the second season of Tough Enough. He was then recruited by WWE talent scout Tom Prichard and trained under both Sgt. Dwayne Bruce and Prichard before beginning full-time training at Ohio Valley Wrestling.
In 2006 he made the jump to WWE's main roster as one half of the Cryme Tyme tag team alongside JTG. The pair were released in September 2007, then brought back to the company in March 2008 and continued to wrestle up until late 2010. He returned to the independent wrestling circuit in 2012 and started up a career in acting, performing small roles in movies like Get Hard, Brothers and Birds of Prey (where he performed stunts during fight scenes) and in television shows like Big Time Rush, Key & Peele, From Dusk till Dawn: The Series and In the Cut.
We will provide more information on the situation as it becomes available.