Law enforcement officials said the body had washed ashore at 1:20 a.m. PT, which was later identified as Gaspard.
The 39 year-old former wrestler had been missing since Sunday morning after he went swimming with his 10 year-old son on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. A lifeguard reported seeing a wave “had crashed over Mr. Shad Gaspard and he was swept out to sea.”
As the L.A. County lifeguard swam out to rescue Gaspard and his son, the ex-wrestler, at 6’6 and 270 pounds, reportedly pushed his boy toward the lifeguard, telling him to, “Take my son!”
Gaspard’s son was quickly taken ashore and uninjured in the incident.
Gaspard was never seen again.
In a statement, the WWE said it was “saddened” to learn of his death. “Admired by friends and colleagues for his warmth and humor, Gaspard was no stranger to heroic deeds,” the WWE noted. “In 2016, he broke up an armed robbery in Coral Springs, Fla., pinning the suspect to the ground until police arrived…WWE extends its condolences to Gaspard’s family, friends and fans.”