Former WWE star found dead after going missing while swimming with son

The wrestler went missing on Sunday afternoon while swimming with his 10-year-old son at Venice Beach in Los Angeles.
Shad Gaspard at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "Terminator Genisys" on June 28, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
Shad Gaspard at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "Terminator Genisys" on June 28, 2015 in Hollywood, California.David Livingston / Getty Images

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/ Source: NBC News
By Minyvonne Burke

Former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard was found dead Wednesday morning after he went missing while swimming with his son at Venice Beach over the weekend, police said.

A person at the beach found the body along the shoreline around 1:25 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department. An investigator with the coroner’s office confirmed the body was Gaspard's, and the wrestler's family has been notified, police said.

Gaspard, 39, went missing Sunday afternoon while swimming with his 10-year-old son at Venice Beach in Los Angeles.

He was about 50 yards offshore when a lifeguard saw that a "wave had crashed over Mr. Shad Gaspard and he was swept out to sea," the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement on Tuesday.

Gaspard's son was found and did not require treatment at a hospital.

Chief Ken Haskett, with the fire department's Lifeguard Section, told NBC News that the lifeguard tried to pull Gaspard and his son to safety.

"He was going to try to rescue both," he said. "But the father, in his last few words, said, 'Save my son.'"

Gaspard pushed his son to the lifeguard, before "he got pushed back down under a wave and that's the last he's been seen," Haskett said.

The wrestler was part of the WWE team Cryme Tyme and, since he stopped wrestling, he has pursued an acting career, according to NBC Los Angeles. He appeared in the movies "Get Hard" and "Think Like A Man Too," and the television shows "Big Time Rush" and "Key and Peele," among others.

In a statement posted on Tuesday, the wrestling organization said, "WWE’s thoughts are with the family of Shad Gaspard. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts during this difficult time.

Gaspard's wife, Siliana Gaspard, released a statement on Tuesday calling him a fighter with 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," she wrote on Instagram.