The wrestling world has been mourning the loss of former WWE star Shad Gaspard, who recently passed away at the age of 39.
Gaspard went missing on Sunday after getting caught in a riptide while swimming with his son at Venice beach in California, and after hours of looking, the search party was finally called off, with his body then eventually getting washed up.
In his final act, he selflessly ordered lifeguards to save his 10-year-old son first, an act which has seen him rightfully labelled a hero.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has since paid tribute to Gaspard in an emotional Instagram post, calling him “a great guy.”
“My deepest condolences and love to Shad Gaspard’s wife, son and family,” wrote Johnson.
“Shad drowned in the ocean, but not before instructing lifeguards to save his 10-yr-old son first. That’s the love of a father.
“This is a tough one to process. Love and light to Shad’s family. And your warrior spirit lives on through your son.”
Gaspard debuted on RAW in September 2006 and was best known as one half of popular tag team Cryme Tyme, alongside JTG.
The duo fought for the WWE Tag Team titles at SummerSlam in 2009, before a memorable split-up a year later.
Away from wrestling, Gaspard created a graphic novel and appeared in several films and TV shows including ‘Brothers’ and ‘Think Like a Man Too’.
Many other WWE stars have joined Johnson in paying tribute to the former Tough Enough contestant.
Triple H wrote: “I join fans around the world as we remember Shad Gaspard as a beloved performer and a caring father. In absolutely tragic circumstances, please keep his loved ones in your thoughts.”
Shane McMahon added: “Saddened to hear the news of the passing of ‘The Beast’ Shad Gaspard. A hero even to the end, my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.
“A great man in this world, you will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, my friend.”
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