Tributes pour in for ‘General Hospital’ actor shot dead in LA as thieves stole his car parts

Out-of-control crime in the City of Angels has claimed another victim, this one an actor on the long-running soap opera “General Hospital” who was killed over a catalytic converter.

Johnny Wactor who played the role of Brando Corbin in 164 episodes of the popular ABC daytime show was fatally shot by thugs who he confronted on a Los Angeles street as he was leaving work at a downtown rooftop bar early Saturday morning.

The 37-year-old saw a trio of masked suspects in the act of trying to steal the part from his vehicle and even though he didn’t put up a fight, he was gunned down anyway, becoming another statistic in the crime-ridden hellhole that is Governor Gavin Newsom’s California.

(Video: YouTube/ABC7)

Wactor was killed at around 3:25 a.m. near Hope Street and Pico Boulevard after his shift at a popular rooftop bar in downtown L.A. as he was walking with a co-worker to her car.

He then saw the three men around his car, believing that it was going to be towed as it had been jacked up and was parked on the street. Wactor then positioned himself in front of his female co-worker to protect her and approached them with one of the thieves shooting him before the trio fled the scene in another vehicle. Wactor was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Catalytic converters are a prime target for criminals who covet the emissions control devices that contain precious metals including rhodium, palladium, and platinum and can be sold for hundreds of dollars to those who melt them down and extract the metals.

In a Sunday statement, “General Hospital” said, “The entire General Hospital family is heartbroken to hear of Johnny Wactor’s untimely passing. He was truly one of a kind and a pleasure to work with each and every day. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.”

“I just don’t understand what a senseless coward act by that person,” the actor’s mother Scarlett Wactor told NBC4 Los Angeles.

“My mother is tough as nails, but she’s broken down to the bone,” the victim’s brother Grant Wactor told the Los Angeles Times. “We have to get him back to Charleston [S.C.]. It’s just a shame. It seems like it was just the wrong place, wrong time.”

Wactor had been working temporarily as a bartender as he explored screenwriting opportunities, according to the Times.

“He lived life his way,” his brother said. “He did exactly what he wanted, even to his last day. That’s who he was day in, day out. He walked the walk.”

“Johnny Wactor was a spectacular human being. Not just a talented actor who was committed to his craft but a real moral example to everyone who knew him. Standing for hard work, tenacity and a never give up attitude. In the highs and lows of a challenging profession, he always kept his chin up and kept striving for the best he could be,” Wactor’s agent David Shaul said in a statement to Variety.

“Our time with Johnny was a privilege we would wish on everyone. He would literally give you the shirt off his back. After over a decade together, he will leave a hole in our hearts forever,” Shaul added.

Police are currently searching for Wactor’s killer.

Chris Donaldson

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