Former WWE star Shad Gaspard is missing after being dragged out to sea Sunday afternoon in Marina Del Rey while he and his son were swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division responded as Gaspard, 39, and his son got caught in a rip current in the Pacific Ocean and pulled out into deeper waters. Lifeguards were able to rescue Gaspard's son, but Gaspard disappeared under a wave and was not seen again. Rescue boats were immediately called to aid in the search, utilized in tandem with efforts from divers and helicopter surveillance, but subsurface search efforts were called off at 7:30 p.m. PST on Sunday.
Gaspard's wife, Siliana, issued a statement on Instagram Tuesday, as the search continued.
"We would like to express our gratitude to the first responders who rescued Aryeh and to the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their continued efforts to help find our beloved Shad," she said.
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We would like to express our gratitude to the first responders who rescued Aryeh and to the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their continued efforts to help find our beloved Shad. . . 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. . . From The Entire Gaspard & Chittick Family
The Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division's Marine Technical Search Team resumed subsurface dive operations at 7 a.m. local time Monday, working in tandem with Baywatch Del Rey using sonar.
While officials haven't publicly identified Gaspard as the missing swimmer, two posts on Gaspard's Instagram story via his verified account stated Gaspard was "Missing" with contact information for Siliana and instructions to call 911 if Shad was found.
Gaspard was under contract with the WWE from 2003-2007 and again from 2008-2010, predominantly as part of the tag team Cryme Tyme. In December 2016, Gaspard made headlines when he thwarted an armed robbery in a Florida convenience store.