D.A. notes progress in search for 'General Hospital' star Johnny Wactor's killer

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 12, 2024 - Actor Kevin Suscavage, holding a picture of actor Johnny Wactor, marches with more than one hundred friends, actors and family who marched to City Hall to call for justice in the shooting death of Wactor and urge city officials to post a reward for information leading to the arrest of the killers on June 12, 2024. Wactor, 37, was shot early around 3:30 a.m. May 25 while walking with a co-worker toward his parked car near Hope Street and Pico Boulevard after finishing his bartending shift at the nearby Level 8 bar/restaurant. Police said the pair encountered a crew of people trying steal the catalytic converter from Wactor's car, and one of them shot Wactor as he approached. Wactor formally starred in, "General Hospital," the NBC series, "Siberia," and the HBO series, "Westward." (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
Fellow actor Kevin Suscavage holds a picture of Johnny Wactor while marching Wednesday in a call for justice in the shooting death of Wactor, who was killed May 25. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A top prosecutor said Wednesday that investigators have leads in the fatal shooting of “General Hospital” actor Johnny Wactor as his brother, friends and politicians called for more resources on the case and a tougher approach to crime in Los Angeles.

Wactor, 37, was gunned down May 25 after leaving a rooftop bar following the end of his late-night bartending shift at Level 8 in downtown L.A. He and a co-worker encountered three thieves near Pico Boulevard and Hope Street trying to steal his car’s catalytic converter. One of them fatally shot Wactor before fleeing around 3:35 a.m., police said.

“We want something to be done,” brother Grant Wactor told the group of more than 200 people gathered at the scene where Wactor was shot. “Me and my family, we don’t live here. But Johnny’s friends — Johnny has roots here. Johnny still has roots here and will continue to have roots here. So we want it to be a safer city for them. ... We want it sooner rather than later.

“We appreciate all the work that’s being done to find and capture all these people, but we hope that any resources that [are] available continue to be [used],” he added.

Read more: New details emerge in killing of 'General Hospital' actor Johnny Wactor

Micah Parker, a fellow actor, accused Los Angeles politicians of being soft on crime and asked for Dist. Atty. George Gascón to commit to seeking the maximum sentence for Wactor’s killers and demanded that Mayor Karen Bass commit more resources to prevent crime.

“They need to get off the sidelines and do their jobs,” Parker said.

Grant Wactor, left, the brother of actor Johnny Wactor, at a rally
Grant Wactor, left, the brother of actor Johnny Wactor, joins a rally calling for justice after his brother's shooting death. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Joseph Iniguez, the district attorney’s chief deputy, told the gathering that top prosecutors with the major crimes division are working with Central Bureau homicide detectives on the investigation.

No arrests have been made in connection with the slaying, but Iniguez said: “We have a number of leads.”

He added that prosecutors cannot preemptively discuss how they will handle any prosecution.

Nathan Hochman, Gascón’s challenger in the November election, said that if elected, “we are going back to a system where criminals are held accountable for their actions.” He said he would go after not only the thieves but the entire chain of buyers who fuel catalytic converter theft.

The group later marched to City Hall, pushing for Bass “to lend full support and resources to the Los Angeles Police Department in this homicide investigation, beginning with issuing a minimum $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the individuals responsible for Johnny’s death.”

City Councilman Kevin de León, who also spoke to the crowd at the shooting site, said the council would adjourn its meeting in honor of Wactor.

“We welcome you with open arms to City Hall,” De León said. “Let’s find justice for Johnny Wactor.”

Read more: 'General Hospital' actor Johnny Wactor's slaying during L.A. robbery sparks shock, anger, mourning

Wactor and his co-worker were walking to his car when they were “confronted by three individuals who had Wactor’s vehicle raised up with a floor jack and were in the process of stealing the catalytic converter,” police said. Catalytic converters are popular targets for thieves because they are rich in precious metals that can be resold.

The thieves were all wearing dark clothing and driving a dark sedan in which they fled north on Hope Street, authorities said.

Wactor’s co-worker, Anita Joy, said they thought the actor’s car was being towed.

“We were no threat, and Johnny kept his cool as he always did, simply stating that it was his car and for them to leave. Hands open to his sides in peace,” Joy posted on Instagram.

“Johnny was between me and the man who shot him — as I heard the shot ring into the night, he forcefully tumbled back into my arms and as I grabbed for him, I shouted, ‘Hunny, you ok?!’

“And he only responded, ‘Nope! Shot!’ ”

A security guard from the bar, Bryan Barkley, responded to help before paramedics rushed Wactor to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. On Wednesday, Barkley addressed the crowd, telling them that the actor “was a real hero.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.