Former WWE performer Shad Gaspard, known as one half of the popular wrestling tag team Cryme Tyme along with his partner JTG, has gone missing during a swim at Venice Beach with a massive lifeguard search now underway. On Sunday, Gaspard had been swimming at the beach with his 10-year-old son, and both were reportedly swept out further into the water wiht a strong rip current at around 4 p.m. According to an official working with the Los Angeles Fire Dept., it is believed that Gaspard "did submerge," and rescuers are fearing the worst as the 39-year-old wrestler still has not been located.
Witnesses from the scene say Gaspard was observed directing rescue worker to first assist his son before helping him. They obliged, and Gaspard's son was pulled to shore and is now safe. Unfortunately, another big wave "crashed down on Gaspard," and there has been no trace of him since. In the efforts to find the wrestler, divers have been looking underwater while helicopters are patrolling the area from above. A photo taken of Gaspard on the beach on the day he went missing is also being used with the hopes that someone may have seen Gaspard or will at least know to look out for him.
In a business known for its characters with flashy names, Gaspard is one of very few WWE superstars to have competed using his real name. Teaming up with JTG, Gaspard is best known for wrestling in the company's tag team division as a part of Cryme Tyme. Aside from their matches in the ring, the two were involved in many memorable backstage skits and segments, many of which involved them breaking the law in comical fashion as their name suggested. Gaspard left WWE in 2010, though he continued to work as a wrestler for various independent promotions. He has also taken up acting, appearing in movies like Get Hard and TV shows such as From Dusk till Dawn: The Series.
Although his WWE character may have been an amusing criminal, Gaspard actually made headlines for playing the hero in real life. In 2016, Gaspard was at a Florida gas station when an armed robber attempted to hold up the clerk. Utilizing his size and athletic ability, Gaspard disarmed the robber and restrained him until police could arrive and take the man away with a proper arrest. The incident had garnered Gaspard a lot of praise in the media at the time and really helped to show that the beloved wrestler was in actuality an incredible person outside of the ring.
While those who know Gaspard along with his many fans are now praying for him to be found, the truth is that hopes of finding him alive are dwindling rapidly with every passing hour. The situation is eerily similar to Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter and great-grandson drowning last month after their canoe was swept away in rushing waters. Their bodies were both discovered long after they had disappeared into the water. Still, if you're a praying person, continue to send those prayers Gaspard's way until he is found. This news comes to us from TMZ.