Professional wrestler Shad Gaspard disappeared on Sunday afternoon while swimming at Venice Beach. A rip current caught him and led to searches on Sunday and Monday. Fellow wrestler Nikki Bella has reacted by sending prayers to an "incredibly nice guy" and a friend.
Bella posted a video on her Instagram Stories and called the situation "terribly sad." She also asked for anyone with information to reach out on Instagram. As she explained, Gaspard is "a light to everyone" that he has met. Bella was among the multitudes of wrestlers and fans alike, hoping and praying that Gaspard will come home after the incident in Southern California.
"This is so terribly sad! If you know or see anything at all please contact @shadbeast13 family," Bella wrote. "He has always been such a light to everyone he came in contact with. Such an incredibly nice guy. Sending so many prayers, light and love to Shad and his family."
Bella was one of the many WWE superstars and alums that sent their prayers in the aftermath of Gaspard's disappearance. Several others posted on Instagram and Twitter and hoped for a positive outcome. This group included Chavo Guerrero, Matt Hardy and The Blue Meanie, among others.
"The news about Shad going missing has me devastated. Known Shad for like 18years. We're all praying for you," wrestler Chris Masters wrote on Monday afternoon. Many others responded by asking for updates about the ongoing search.
According to ESPN, the search began after Gaspard disappeared under the waves. Lifeguards were able to pull his 10-year-old son and other swimmers out of the ocean but could not find the professional wrestler. Rescue boats, divers and helicopters began searching for Gaspard but were unable to find him.0comments
Officials ultimately called off the search at 7:30 p.m. local time, but it began anew on Monday morning. The Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division's Marine Technical Search Team returned to the scene at 7 a.m. local time and continued the search for Gaspard. They worked in tandem with Baywatch Del Rey using sonar.
Gaspard spent time with WWE from 2003-2007 and once again from 2008-2010. He was primarily part of the tag team Cryme Tyme, a group that became a fan-favorite. Following his departure from WWE, Gaspard made headlines when he prevented a robbery at a Florida convenience store. A suspect pulled a gun, which was later revealed to be a bb gun, but Gaspard shoved him against a cooler and disarmed him. When the suspect attempted to flee the scene, the wrestler chased him down and put him in a rear-naked choke while someone called the police.