Shad Gaspard Dies at Age 39 After Drowning in Swimming Accident

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2020

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 15: Shad Gaspard attends the 2019 MTV Movie and TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 15, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Former WWE superstar Shad Gaspard has died at age 39 after drowning in a swimming accident, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office announced, per Kelli Johnson of Fox 29 Philadelphia.

Vince McMahon @VinceMcMahon

The thoughts of everyone at WWE are with Shad Gaspard’s family during this difficult time. https://t.co/dLRnF6oElX

Investigators first reported Wednesday that a body matching the description of former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard had washed ashore in the Venice area of Los Angeles, according to Daniella Guzman of NBC Los Angeles.

Per TMZ, Gaspard went missing Sunday after getting swept away by a rip current while swimming with his 10-year-old son at Venice Beach.

Lifeguards rescued Gaspard's son, but they were unable to recover Gaspard. A witness told TMZ that Gaspard directed the lifeguards to save his son first.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Tuesday it had suspended its search for Gaspard "after 16.5 hours of searching with multiple rescue assets covering 70 square nautical miles and seven search patterns." The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that it was still searching for Gaspard at that time, however.

According to TMZ, an L.A. Fire Department official said they believed Gaspard "did submerge" after a large wave crashed down upon him.

WWE Chairman Vince McMahon tweeted the following regarding Gaspard on Tuesday:

The 39-year-old Gaspard is best known for his time in WWE as one half of the tag team Cryme Tyme with partner JTG. Shad signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2002 and finally got his big break in 2006 when he and JTG were called up to the main roster.

Cryme Tyme were released in 2007, but they returned in 2008. Shortly after the tag team broke up, Gaspard was released again in 2010.

Gaspard didn't wrestle much after departing WWE in 2010, but he enjoyed success as an actor both on television and in movies. Appearances in the movie Get Hard and the show Key & Peele are among the credits on Shad's resume, as well as stunt work in Birds of Prey.