MISSING: 6’7”, 265-Pound Former WWE Star Suddenly Pulled Out to Sea By Rip Current, Told Rescuers To Save His Son First

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Shad Gaspard has gone missing during a swim Venice Beach on Sunday May 17, with his 10-year-old son, according to TMZ.

10:46 AM PT — Shad’s family issued a statement noting that they are “hoping and praying for his safe return.”

“We would like to express our gratitude to the first responders who rescued Aryeh and to the lifeguards, coastguard, divers, fire and police departments for their continued efforts to help find our beloved Shad,” the Gaspard family said through a rep.

“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.”

8:32 AM PT — 5/19 — The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search to find Shad Gaspard.

According to TMZ, the case will not be closed until authorities find the missing persons, but the efforts have been scaled back.

Gaspard and his son were among a handful of swimmers who were caught in a strong rip current around 4 pm on Sunday.

Lifeguards reportedly rushed to retrieve the struggling swimmers.

Gaspard’s son was successfully rescued, but the 39-year -old pro wrestler has not yet been found.

An official who works for the L.A. Fire Dept. told media they believe the 39-year-old “did submerge.”

A witness recalled that when the lifeguards rushed into the water to rescue the swimmers, Gaspard directed rescuers to help his son first, which they did.

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During the rescue another big wave crashed down on Gaspard — and that’s the last time he was seen.

More from TMZ:

We’re told the photo of Shad officials are using in the search (included in this post) was taken earlier Sunday, before the incident.

Shad was at the beach that day with his wife and their 10-year-old son.

Gaspard was a big star with WWE back in the day — making up one half of the tag team Cryme Time with his partner, JTG.

Outside of pro wrestling, Gaspard made headlines in 2016 when he stopped an armed robbery in Florida.

In fact, Shad came on the “TMZ Sports” TV show to talk about it and couldn’t have been a nicer guy.