Shad Gaspard has passed away at age 39 after he went missing Sunday while swimming off the coast of Venice Beach.
On Wednesday, authorities confirmed that the former WWE wrestler’s body was discovered after it washed ashore near Venice Pier.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ that the body was first identified by a citizen who called police around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
The body was then transferred to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, who identified the deceased as Gaspard.
After they received word, family and loved ones gathered at the beach, where they were seen hugging, talking, and crying.
On Sunday around 4 p.m., Gaspard, his 10-year-son Aryeh, and other swimmers were caught in a strong rip current — caused by challenging weather conditions — near 4200 S. Ocean Front Walk.
The young boy was rescued and did not require hospitalization.
A witness told TMZ that Gaspard instructed lifeguards to focus their efforts on his son. After they did so, Gaspard was then reportedly submerged by a wave that crashed down on him.
On Wednesday, the WWE released a statement remembering the athlete, who competed in the organization with his Cryme Tyme tag-team partner JTE.
“WWE is saddened to learn that former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard has passed away at the age of 39,” they wrote. “WWE extends its condolences to Gaspard’s family, friends and fans.”
In addition to his son, Gaspard is survived by his wife Siliana.
Our condolences go out to his family for their tragic loss.