Shad Gaspard has died. The former WWE Superstar died at the age of 39, with TMZ reporting a body matching his description washed up on Venice Beach. Gaspard is survived by his wife, Siliana Gaspard, and his 10-year-old son.
Gaspard and his son were among a group of swimmers that were caught in a riptide at Venice Beach in California on Sunday. While lifeguards were able to rescue his son, Gaspard's body was not discovered until early Wednesday morning. A witness at the scene said that Gaspard was last seen directing lifeguards to rescue his son before a wave crashed on top of him. He had been visiting the beach with his wife and son.
Gaspard Found Fame In The WWE As Part Of Cryme TymeBorn in Brooklyn, New York, Gaspard was gifted at combat sports from a young age, per Fandom. His father, Ben Gaspard, began training him as a boxer at the age of five, and by eight he was practicing a variety of martial arts. At the age of 16, Gaspard became a prizefighter, competing in boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts tournaments. Before he broke through as a professional wrestler, Gaspard had served as a bodyguard for celebrities such as Britney Spears, Puff Daddy, and Mike Tyson.
After a failed stint on the WWE reality competition Tough Enough 2 in 2002, Gaspard found success as a wrestler with Ohio Valley Wrestling as part of the tag team The Gang Stars with the Neighborhoodie, better known as JTG. The Gang Stars drew the attention of the WWE, who brought the team to the company under the rebranded name Cryme Tyme. The duo debuted in October 2006 on the company's Raw brand. The team made appearances on several of WWE's pay-per-view events until September 2007, when they were released by the company.
After a brief period on the independent circuit, Cryme Tyme returned to the WWE with an appearance on Raw on March 31, 2008. During its second stint, the duo worked closely with John Cena and assisted him in several of his feuds. The two moved to Smackdown in 2009, where they became the No. 1 contenders for the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship before falling to the team of Chris Jericho and Big Show at SummerSlam. The duo competed in the battle royal at WrestleMania XXVI.
Cryme Tyme was disbanded in 2010, with Gaspard and JTG engaging in a feud afterward. The two would eventually face off on an episode of WWE Superstars, with Gaspard picking up the victory. Gaspard was released from his WWE contract in November 2010.
After finding moderate success on the independent circuit, Gaspard reunited with JTG in 2014 as Crime Time. The duo would wrestle several times under the moniker that year.
Gaspard Was Successful Outside Of The RingAfter his career as a professional wrestler, Gaspard found success in a variety of other media. In 2011, he created the award-winning graphic novel Assassin & Son alongside fellow wrestler Muhammad Hassan. He also found success on the stage, performing as Hamlet and the boxer Jack Johnson in stage adaptations during the early 2010s.
After making appearances in television series including The Game and The Exes in 2012, Gaspard began finding success in minor roles over the following years. Among his appearances include several episodes of the series Key & Peele and From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, along with the film Get Hard. Gaspard's final on-screen appearance was in 2020's Birds of Prey, where he performed stunts.
Outside of the entertainment world, Gaspard made headlines in 2016 when he stopped an armed robbery in Coral Springs, Florida. According to TMZ, A man approached him at a gas station before pulling out a firearm. Gaspard was able to wrestle the would-be thief's weapon away and restrain him until police arrived.