WWE issued the following statement after Los Angeles County officials confirmed the death of former “Cryme Tyme” star Shad Gaspard.
WWE is saddened to learn that former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard has passed away at the age of 39.
Gaspard had gone missing while swimming with his son at Venice Beach in California on May 17. In his final act, Gaspard instructed lifeguards to save his son’s life.
Gaspard was best known in WWE as one-half of Cryme Tyme with JTG. The fan-favorite duo memorably joined forces with John Cena during his 2008 rivalry with JBL, and competed for the WWE Tag Team Titles at SummerSlam 2009. Shad and JTG would later square off in heated fashion after a falling out in 2010.
Before entering the squared circle, Gaspard played basketball at Georgia Perimeter College. He was also a former bodyguard for P.Diddy, Britney Spears and Mike Tyson.
Admired by friends and colleagues for his warmth and humor, Gaspard was no stranger to heroic deeds. In 2016, he broke up an armed robbery in Coral Springs, Fla., pinning the suspect to the ground until police arrived.
Gaspard was also a multitalented individual, creating his own graphic novel and acting in several TV shows and films, including “Brothers” and “Think Like a Man Too.”
WWE extends its condolences to Gaspard’s family, friends and fans.
Earlier this morning, Los Angeles County Lifeguards confirmed the identity of a body that washed up on Venice Beach as being Shad Gaspard. Officials were called to the scene early Wednesday morning after a body was found on the beach that matched his description, about halfway between Venice Beach pier and the lifeguard headquarters.
Gaspard went missing on Sunday after he was stuck in the strong current while swimming with his son at Venice Beach. According to witnesses, he asked first responders to help his son first and was then hit by an ocean wave that submerged him. Gaspard had not been seen since then; the case will not be officially closed until they find him but the family issued a statement on Tuesday after the Coast Guard suspended their search efforts.
Gaspard first appeared on WWE TV after qualifying for the finals of Tough Enough 2 in 2002, and worked two stints in the company as Cryme Tyme with JTG between 2006-2010.