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Former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard, one-half of the fan favorite tag team Cryme Tyme, died after he saved his son from drowning in Venice Beach, CA. He was 39.
According to authorities, Gaspard and his son were swept away by waves while swimming in the ocean on May 17. As the lifeguards swam toward the former wrestler, he waved them off and instructed them to save his son first. He was then swept away by a wave, and his body was found early May 20.
The WWE tweeted it was saddened by the news.
WWE is saddened to learn that former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard has passed away at the age of 39. https://t.co/ngyuRpkjps
— WWE (@WWE) May 20, 2020
On social media, Gaspard was remembered as a kind spirit and a family man by his fans and fellow wrestlers.
“The world has lost a wonderful human being,” Natalya Neidhart tweeted.
The world has lost a wonderful human being. Shad Gaspard was a true HERO in every sense of the word. I’m keeping his family and loved ones in my prayers right now. We love you, Shad. pic.twitter.com/JaX6Ebk9LF
— NattieByNature (@NatbyNature) May 20, 2020
Shane McMahon, son of WWE CEO Vince McMahon, called Gaspard a hero to the end.
Saddened to hear the news of the passing of the “The Beast” Shad Gaspard. A hero even to the end, my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. A great man in this world, you will be sorely missed. Rest In Peace, my friend.
— Shane McMahon (@shanemcmahon) May 20, 2020
And Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson extended his thoughts and prayers to the family, calling the death “a tough one. A really tough one.”
My prayers and hope for Shad Gaspard’s wife, son and family during this unthinkable time. Man, this is a tough one. A really tough one.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) May 20, 2020
Gaspard and his tag team partner, JTG, entertained fans by imitating Brooklyn street thugs, complete with Timberland boots (dead ass), a criminal persona, and an entrance in which they screamed “What’s up” to the crowd, which would yell the phrase back
The duo had two separate stints in the WWE, from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2008 to 2010. Although they never won the tag titles, they were always a fan favorite and received loud cheers whenever they competed.
Gaspard’s final act wasn’t his only heroic display. According to the WWE, he also broke up an armed robbery in Fla. and held the suspect down until the police arrived.
Before becoming a wrestler, he was a college basketball player at Georgia Perimeter College and worked as a bodyguard for several celebrities.
Muscle & Fitness extends its condolences to Gaspard’s family during this difficult time.