Fans of former WWE star Shad Gaspard are praying right now after the 39 year-old went missing on Sunday afternoon while swimming off the coast of a newly-opened beach in Venice Beach, California with his 10 year-old son.
The young boy was thankfully rescued and pulled from the water, but Gaspard remains missing one day later.
“I saw the young boy who was inconsolable and his mother who had her arms wrapped around him,” one onlooker told Daily Mail. “The whole thing was just heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking to see this mother and child in complete despair.”
Reporters said that the child was unharmed and eventually left the beach while his mother, Siliana Gaspard, continued painstakingly staring out into the ocean, desperate for any sign of her husband.
“We had one of our lifeguards go out to make a double rescue of a father and a son,” said Kenichi Haskett, Los Angeles County Fire Dept Lifeguard Division. “The father unfortunately got pushed down by a wave as they were getting pulled out of the current. The lifeguard rescued and grabbed the boy, the son, and tried to grab the father as well. He ended up getting pushed down by a wave and we couldn’t find him and we immediately started with our rescue boats, called in additional lifeguards to search that location of his dad.”
Gaspard is best remembered by fans as part of the wrestling team Cryme Tyme with fellow WWE star JTG. He left the WWE back in 2010, and has since launched an acting career in movies like Think Like A Man Too. He has been married to Siliana since 2009, and the 10 year-old is their only child together.
Local resident Lisa Thompson said that her two daughters had found themselves in a similar situation to Gaspard’s as they were swimming off the same beach the day before.
“Yesterday my two girls got pulled in by lifeguards,” she recalled. “It was upsetting, I was crying. My daughters didn’t even know realize they were getting pulled out.”
“I have been doing this for 33 years, and this is only the second time this has ever happened,” a local Venice Beach lifeguard added.
At 7am on Monday morning, Siliana and her son were seen back on the beach searching for Gaspard with rescue crews.
“The mother and son have remained on the beach at the same location since yesterday. Neighbors have provided them with water and blankets and chairs,” said local resident Patricia Powell. “And one neighbor who lives right on the beach just steps away from the incident has opened his doors for them in case they need a bathroom or a place to rest.”
Please join us in saying a prayer that Gaspard is safely found and returned to his family.