Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Pays Emotional Tribute to Drowned WWE Star Shad Gaspard

Dwayne Johnson paid tribute online to Shad Gaspard.
Shad Gaspard and Dwayne Johnson in happier times.Instagram

"This one hurts," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson posted online in tribute to WWE star Shad Gaspard.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has turned to social media express his grief over the drowning death of fellow World Wrestling Entertainment star Shad Gaspard. "This one hurts," the wrestler-turned-actor posted on his Instagram account, with a photo of himself and 39-year-old Gaspard.

"My deepest condolences and love to Shad Gaspard’s wife, son and family," Johnson wrote.

Gaspard's body washed ashore Wednesday on a stretch of Venice Beach in California, three days after he was swept away by a riptide while swimming with his 10-year-old son. 

"Shad drowned in the ocean, but not before instructing lifeguards to save his 10yr old son first," Johnson said.  "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."

Other athletes did the same. "I join fans around the world as we remember Shad Gaspard as a beloved performer and a caring father," wrote wrestling champion Triple H. "In absolutely tragic circumstances, please keep his loved ones in your thoughts."

Gaspard's wife broke her public silence about her husband's death and issued a statement Thursday.

"Shad was our whole world and we were his," Siliana Gaspard said. "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."

An "outpouring of love" from friends, colleagues and fans around the world "has meant more to us than you can even imagine," she said.

"Shad was and will always be our real life super hero," she said.

The couple's son, Aryeh, was rescued Sunday, but Gaspard 's body wasn't found until Wednesday, when passersby discovered it.