June 18, 2024

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Johnny Wactor from “General Hospital” was fatally shot in the catalytic converter robbery

Johnny Wactor from “General Hospital” was fatally shot in the catalytic converter robbery

“General Hospital” actor Johnny Wactor was shot and killed early Saturday when he encountered three men trying to steal the catalytic converter from his car, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case.

Officer Jader Chavez, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said the killing occurred around 3:25 a.m. when the car's owner encountered three people near Pico Boulevard and Hope Street trying to steal car parts. Chavez said one of the robbers shot the man before all three fled in a car. The officer did not identify the victim, but said he was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A source confirmed Sunday to The Times that the victim was Wactor, who played Brando Corbin on “General Hospital” from 2020 to 2022. He also had roles on other shows, including “Westworld,” “Criminal Minds” and “Criminal Minds.” Station 19”. “

Wactor, who was working as a bartender in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday evening, was walking her co-worker to her car after their shift, Grant Wactor, Wactor's brother, told the Times on Sunday. On the way, he noticed a group of men gathering around his car, so he confronted them because he thought he was being dragged.

That's when he was shot.

Police said the thieves were after Wactor's catalytic converter. The exhaust emission control device is usually located in the undercarriage of the vehicle and contains precious metals including rhodium, palladium and platinum. Thieves can make hundreds of dollars selling them to auto parts suppliers or scrap yards, where they can be melted down and the precious metals extracted.

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“My mother is tough as nails, but she's broken to the bone,” said Grant Wactor, Johnny's younger brother. “We have to get him back to Charleston [S.C.]. It's just a shame. It seemed like he was in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Wactor, 37, left “General Hospital” in 2022 when his famous character was written off the show. He told Soap Opera Digest at the time I listen The show's large and loyal fan base.

“It was all new to me, and it was a blessing,” he said. “It was fun going to work and then being excited to see people react to the events I was at. It was really cool that they actually cared.”

Grant Wactor said his brother was drawn to acting from an early age. Johnny grew up in Summerville, South Carolina, and participated in every play he could in his elementary and middle schools. Not long after graduating from the College of Charleston in 2009, he packed up his Honda Civic and took a cross-country trip to Los Angeles to launch his acting career.

“I can't stress enough how hard he works,” Grant Wactor said. “He would flip the Scrabble board at home because he was so competitive. But he was also one of the most engaging people I knew. Because when he talked or listened, you could tell he was real.”

Johnny Wactor had recently been exploring opportunities in screenwriting while temporarily working as a bartender.

“He lived life his way,” Grant Wactor said. “He did exactly what he wanted, until his last day. This is who he was day in and day out. He walked the walk.”

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Former colleagues took to social media to mourn Wactor's death on Sunday.

“Johnny Wactor was a beautiful, beautiful soul,” said Barry Sheen, a former “General Hospital” actor. On X. “We were cheated for many years with him.”

Jon Lindstrom, a longtime cast member of the ABC series, to publish: “I'm literally sickened by this news.” He described Wactor as “one of those rare young men in this business who was kind, humble and humble.”

“General Hospital” issued a statement saying the series family was “deeply saddened to hear of Johnny Wactor's sudden passing.” He was truly one of a kind and a pleasure to work with every day. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.”

His co-star and love interest on the show, Sofia Mattsson, added: “So genuine. So caring. Incredibly hard working and humble. With a big heart who spread so much kindness and joy. He always made sure everyone around him felt seen, heard and loved. I'm I admire the man he was very much and I am a better person because I knew him.

Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed in California during the COVID-19 pandemic, which some have attributed to increased economic distress. This trend has led to new state laws making it illegal for recyclers to purchase the part from anyone other than the legal owner or a licensed dealer and increasing penalties for buyers who fail to certify that the catalytic converter has not been stolen.

Times staff writer Alex Wigglesworth contributed to this report.