TMZ- The L.A. County Coroner has identified the body found on L.A.'s Venice Beach as ex-WWE superstar Shad Gaspard ... TMZ Sports has learned.
The body was first seen on the beach by a citizen who called cops around 1:30 AM Wednesday ... according to our law enforcement sources. We're told officers responded and recovered the body right near Venice Pier.
The L.A. Fire Department held a news conference Wednesday morning, saying the body matches the description of Shad ... a 6'6" black male over 240 lbs.
As we first reported, he went missing on Sunday afternoon when a group of swimmers, including Shad and his son, Aryeh, got caught in a rip current south of the Pier.
Shad heroically told lifeguards to focus on getting his 10-year-old son to shore safely, but when they returned he'd gone under.
Police and Coast Guard boats and divers searched the rough water for nearly 2 days before suspending their efforts.
This is just so tragic. Completely and utterly heartbreaking.
On Sunday, professional wrestler Shad Gaspard - who you'd know best as one-half of the classic WWE tag team 'Cryme Tyme' - was pulled out to sea by a riptide when going for a swim with his 10-year-old son, Aryeh.
After days and days of searching for his body at sea, he has been found dead, washed ashore on Venice Beach this morning. I really hope the Gaspard family was at least able to get a sense of closure from that, as horrible as it may sound. I think I'd rather know than not know if I were in the same position.
As TMZ reports, Shad heroically made sure the lifeguards got his son to safety before him, and I hope that little tidbit gets publicized everywhere today, because by all accounts - it's completely representative of who he was as a father, and a person overall. Always putting his kids first, and always looking out for others - Shad was a hero.
I didn't know Shad personally, but those who did really loved and respected him tremendously. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
I just knew him as a fan, and oh boy, was I ever a fan! I had to be the whitest Cryme Tyme fan ever, up there with the famous Nation of Domination kid....
....but they really were fucking awesome, and incredibly over at their peak. Definitely way too underrated in the grand scheme of things. I'm gonna go back and watch some of their work today for sure.