'Left this world a hero': Body of former WWE star found on beach

Shad Gaspard leaves behind his wife and young son. Image: Instagram/Getty

Police have confirmed the body of former WWE star Shad Gaspard was found early Wednesday on Los Angeles' Venice Beach, after he was caught in a rip current last weekend.

He was 39.

Patrol officers were flagged down around 1:25 am by a person reporting that a body had washed ashore, a Police Department statement said.

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He was identified as Gaspard and his family was notified, police said.

Gaspard went missing last Sunday after he went swimming with his 10-year-old son, Aryeh.

The boy was rescued and several other swimmers made it out of the water safely.

Gaspard reportedly told lifesavers to help his son first.

Gaspard, 39, gained prominence in the WWE as one half of the tag-team group Cryme Tyme, along with his partner, JTG.

After retiring in 2010, Gaspard has had small roles on TV and in movies, including the 2015 Kevin Hart comedy “Get Hard.”

He was about 50 metres from shore when he was last spotted by a lifeguard, police said.

A wave crashed over him and he was swept out to sea.

His wife, Siliana Gaspard, issued a statement Tuesday thanking authorities and fans.

“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,” the statement said.

Shad Gaspard in California in 2013. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Shad Gaspard remembered as true hero

Tributes have been flowing in from around the wrestling world, with many praising Gaspard for his heroic final act to save his son.

WWE legend Triple H wrote: “I join fans around the world as we remember Shad Gaspard as a beloved performer and a caring father. In absolutely tragic circumstances, please keep his loved ones in your thoughts.”

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson said: “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. Great guy.”

Titus O'Neill, Gaspard’s former tag-team partner said: “My Love, Thoughts, Prayers and Support Go out to The Family of Shad Gaspard.

“Nothing will ever Fix the loss of a loved one. As a Universe We owe it to ourselves and to others to Be a Positive Light in this world as long as we can Because Nothing is Ever Guaranteed. #RIPSHAD”.

Natalya wrote: “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.”

While wrestling podcaster John Pollock said: “Shad Gaspard left this world a hero - in every sense of the word.

“Above anything else he did during his time here, he is going to be remembered for his actions as a father, and that is an incredible legacy to leave behind.”

with Yahoo Sports Staff