WWE star Shad Gaspard told his tag team partner “if I die tomorrow, I love you” in a haunting message before he disappeared.
His Cryme Tyme co-star, Jason Anthony Paul (JTG) shared a screenshot of a text Gaspard sent him months before he vanished while swimming in Los Angeles on Monday.
The next day, JTG shared texts they shared on Twitter as the US Coast Guard and LAPD called off the immediate search for his pal, who is feared dead.
“If ever I die tomorrow just know I Love you as a brother and friend for ever, even past this life,” read Gaspard’s message, dated January 26, 2020.
“Love you too brotha,” JTG replied, after it emerged he had been left “numb” and “shaken up” by the 39-year-old’s tragic disappearance.
The athlete got caught in a rip current at around 4pm while swimming at Venice Beach in California with his 10-year-old son, Aryeh, and a group of others.
His mother, Carol Paul, told The Sun her son could barely talk about the situation after spending “half of his life” with Gaspard, his wrestling partner.
“They call each other brothers, so he’s really shaken up,” she told The Sun. “They wrestled together, they travelled together, they worked out together, they did almost everything together. I was trying to tell Jayson there may be hope (of finding him alive), but that second wave…”
Carol says she’s barely spoken to her 35-year-old son since the news broke as he spends time trying to process the tragedy along with Shad’s other friends and close family members.
“I used to go to all of the wrestling matches, Shad is like a second son to me, he is like a big teddy bear,” she added.
JTG’s grief comes after Gaspard’s family issued an official statement when the search and rescue became a recovery operation, two days after he disappeared in the water.
The dad-of-one allegedly told lifeguards to save his son first, who was reportedly pulled out of the water unharmed and did not require any hospital treatment.
But in their attempts to save Shad, the rip current pulled him out to sea and he has not been seen despite hours of searching by the US Coast Guard’s helicopters and divers.
The status of the case will now be downgraded even though the search is never given up until they find a body, reported Wrestling News Source.
Gaspard’s panicked wife, Siliana, posted a photograph of his last moments on the beach this weekend on Instagram Story, appealing for help to find her missing husband.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the first responders who rescued Aryeh and to the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their continued efforts to help find our beloved Shad,” his family released a statement saying.
“Shad is a fighter, a warrior and a magical soul. We are hoping and praying for his safe return. As a family we thank you all for your concern and well wishes.
“Please continue to keep sending your positivity and prayers to our beloved Shad. The Gaspard Family.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.