Wife of former WWE star speaks out for 1st time since his death

Shad Gaspard was found dead early Wednesday after going missing while swimming with his son in Los Angeles.
Shad Gaspard
Shad Gaspard in Los Angeles on May 12, 2014.AP

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/ Source: NBC News
By Minyvonne Burke

The wife of former WWE star Shad Gaspard remembered him as a "real-life superhero" in her first public comments since his body was found along the shoreline at Venice Beach on Wednesday.

"Shad was our whole world and we were his. There are not enough words to describe what he means to all of us," Siliana Gaspard said in an Instagram post on Thursday.

"He was our heart, our soul, our protector, our warrior. He was a bright force of nature, who brought joy to many through his joyous and gracious nature," she continued.

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

The Los Angeles Fire Department's lifeguard chief, Ken Haskett, told NBC News that the lifeguard tried to pull Gaspard and his son to safety.

"He was going to try to rescue both," Haskett 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.

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 Tuesday. His son was found and did not require treatment at a hospital.

The wrestler, 39, was found dead early Wednesday morning by a person at the beach. An investigator with the coroner’s office confirmed the body was Gaspard's, according to police.

Siliana Gaspard thanked everyone for their support and prayers.

"The outpouring of love from Shad’s friends, colleagues and fans has meant more to us than you can even imagine," she wrote on Instagram. "We’d like to once again thank the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their efforts. Shad was and will always be our real-life superhero."

Gaspard was a part of the WWE tag team Cryme Tyme and pursued a career in acting after he stopped wrestling. 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.

Before joining the wrestling organization, he was a celebrity bodyguard and played basketball at Georgia Perimeter College, according to WWE.