Shad Gaspard dead at 39: WWE star dies a hero after ‘sacrificing himself to save his son’ as they were washed out to sea – The Sun

WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard, 31, has been found dead as officials announced a body matching his description washed up on a beach in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Police Department made the tragic confirmation on Wednesday and his family has been notified.

The body, matching Gaspard's description, was discovered just days after the former WWE star disappeared while swimming with his son at Venice Beach in California.

And reports suggested he sacrificed himself to save his son by instructing lifeguards to rescue the ten-year-old.

"The individual that was seen here on the beach this morning was an African American male, approximately six foot six, and over 240 lbs," officials confirmed to FOXLA on Wednesday.

"It matched the description of the missing swimmer that had gone missing rescue efforts that we've conducted here on Sunday afternoon."

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, firefighters responded to a call near Lifeguard Tower 26 at Venice Beach at approximately 1.46am Wednesday, after being notified by police, ABC7 reported.

The body – discovered by coroner's officials in the area where Gaspard was pulled out to sea – was spotted on the sand halfway between Venice Beach pier and the lifeguard headquarters, Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Titus Tyler said on Wednesday morning.

Gaspard's body was first spotted by a citizen who called cops at around 1.30am on Wednesday, police said.

Lt. Tyler said there were no initial signs of foul play, according to KDVR.

Gaspard, 39, and his son, ten, were with a group of swimmers who got caught in a rip current around 4pm on Sunday.

Lifeguards reportedly rushed to pull swimmers from the water, and Gaspard's son was rescued in good condition and was not hospitalised, KABC reported.

Gaspard was approximately 50 yards from the shore when a lifeguard noticed him, but then a wave crashed over him and swept him away.

Pono Barnes, a lifeguard specialist with the Los Angeles Fire Department, said: "That group was stuck in one of the rip currents and were swimming just north of the lifeguard tower."

"That's why lifeguards were able to get there so soon, but unfortunately, one did, however, submerge."

A witness told the news outlet that Gaspard told lifeguards to help his son out of the ocean first, but then another large wave crashed down on Gaspard.

His wife, Siliana Gaspard, pleaded for any helpful information on Monday night.

She wrote on Instagram: "Please don't flood me asking what happened. We want to know if he's been seen and where."

On Tuesday afternoon, the Coast Guard announced the search was suspended "after 16.5 hours of searching with multiple rescue assets covering 70 square nautical miles and seven search patterns".

Barnes said: "That surf that we have paired with a little bit of wind and good tidal swing today made rip currents a little bit more prevalent and a little bit stronger."

The former pro wrestler was spending Sunday at the beach with his son and wife.

An official statement, from the The Gaspard Family on Tuesday, read: "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.

"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."

Gaspard is most known for his work with partner JTG in the WWE tag team Cryme Time.

He was also a bodyguard to celebs like Britney Spears, Puff Daddy, and Mike Tyson.

Triple H and Titus O'Neil were among the stars from the wrestling community to tweet their condolences.

His former tag team partner has been left "numb" and "shaken up" after the ex-WWE star tragically disappeared while out swimming, The Sun revealed.

Gaspard was part of the Cryme Tyme tag team with Jayson Anthony Paul, known as JTG – who was left heartbroken upon hearing the news that his friend was feared dead.

Jayson's mother, Carol Paul, told The Sun: "He [Jayson] can't even talk, he's numb. He spent half of his life with him, in wrestling, they call each other brothers, so he's really shaken up.

"They wrestled together, they traveled together, they worked out together, they did almost everything together. I was trying to tell Jayson there may be hope [of finding him alive], but that second wave…"

Last week Gaspard posted a touching photo with his son at the beach – just days before he vanished during an ocean swim.

Gaspard is survived by his wife Siliana and his son.

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