Johnny Wactor, 'General Hospital' actor, fatally shot at 37 during suspected theft attempt

Johnny Wactor, best known for his role as Brando Corbin in "General Hospital," was shot and killed in downtown Los Angeles. He was 37.

Wactor was shot dead early Saturday morning during an attempted catalytic converter theft in the downtown area, per a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department.

Officers responded to a radio call of an assault with a deadly weapon and shooting in the 1200 block of Hope Street in Los Angeles around 3:25 a.m. local time. Upon arriving at the scene, LAPD "discovered the victim, identified as John William Wactor, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound," the news release read.

Wactor was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel.

In a statement to Variety Sunday, Wactor's talent agent, David Shaul, called the actor a "spectacular human being" who was 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," Shaul said in a statement. "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."

TMZ was first to report Wactor's death.

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Johnny Wactor was shot 'without provocation' as suspects stole his car's catalytic converter: LAPD

According to local TV station KTLA, LAPD said Wactor saw three individuals stealing the catalytic converter from his vehicle and that when he confronted them, they turned around and shot him.

The actor's mother, Scarlett, told ABC7 on Sunday that her son was leaving work at a downtown rooftop bar when the incident happened and that Wactor initially thought his car was being towed, so he approached the person to ask if that was the case. When the masked suspect looked up, however, the suspect opened fire at her son, she said.

In the news release from LAPD Tuesday, officers add that Wactor's vehicle was raised up with a floor jack as the three individuals attempted to steal the catalytic converter. "Without provocation, the victim was shot by one of the individuals," LAPD said. "The three suspects involved were wearing all dark clothing and driving a dark colored sedan."

The suspects are still at large, police say. Central Bureau Homicide is investigating Wactor's case.

Johnny Wactor was fatally shot after intervening while several suspects stole his car's catalytic converter, according to police.
Johnny Wactor was fatally shot after intervening while several suspects stole his car's catalytic converter, according to police.

Wactor's mother, Scarlett, told Fox News Digital in an interview that authorities are planning an autopsy and the actor's family will bring him back to South Carolina for funeral services.

"What I'd like for everybody to know is that they took a great human being. It is leaving a very large hole in me and his brother's lives," Scarlett said of her son. "We just buried my husband, their dad, four years ago. And he was very loved by his friends, his families. He lived life to the fullest, he chased his dreams, (and was) a very optimistic, positive person."

She concluded: "I hope they catch them, and I hope there’s justice for Johnny. That’s all I can hope and pray for. I will see him again. But down here on earth, it’s going to be a very, very long road without him for me and his brothers."

Johnny Wactor played Brando Corbin on 'General Hospital', made his debut in 'Army Wives'

Wactor appeared in the ABC daytime soap as Brando Corbin between 2020 and 2022. But he made his acting debut on television in the Lifetime drama series "Army Wives" (2007).

His other television roles include "Hollywood Girl" (2010), Siberia" (2013), "Agent X" (2015), "Vantastic" (2016), "Animal Kingdom" (2016), "Criminal Minds" (2017), "NCIS" (2019), "The OA" (2019), "Westworld" (2020), "The Passenger" (2020) and "Station 19" (2023).

The actor also worked on several short films including "The Grass Is Never Greener" (2010), "GoldenBox" (2011), "Anything for You, Abby" (2019) and "We Won't Forget" (2021).

He also appeared in feature films, most notably 2016's "USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage," starring Nicolas Cage, Tom Sizemore and Thomas Jane. Wactor was also credited in films such as "Menthol" (2014), "Trapper's Edge" (2023) and "Supercell" (2023).

Wactor is survived by his mother, Scarlett, and brothers, Lance and Grant.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'General Hospital' actor dies at 37: Johnny Wactor shot, killed in LA