The following is a statement from the family of the late Shad Gaspard, in thanks to his friends, fans and of the emergency responders who searched tirelessly for the former WWE Superstar earlier this week.
“Aryeh, myself and the Gaspard and Cittick families would like to take this time to thank everyone for their prayers and support, as we mourn the terrible loss of our beloved Shad.
“Shad was our whole world and we were his. There are not enough words to describe what he means to all of us. He was our heart, our soul, our protector, our warrior. He was a bright force of nature, who brought joy to many through his joyous and gracious nature.
“The outpourng of love from Shad’s friends, colleagues and fans has meant more to us than you can even imagine. We’d like to once again thank the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their efforts.
“Shad was and will always be our real life super hero.”
Gaspard and his 10-year-old son were caught in an unexpected rip tide on Sunday afternoon while swimming at a Los Angeles beach. Lifeguards attempted to retrieve them both, but the choice was made to save the child before returning to save the 300-pound wrestler.
Gaspard was pulled under the water before help could reach him. The coast guard and local authorities arranged a search party both in the ocean and on land, but his body was not recovered until early Wednesday morning.