‘General Hospital’s’ Johnny Wactor killed in catalytic converter heist in downtown L.A., police say

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Johnny Wactor arrives at the world premiere of "The Mule" at the Westwood Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles.

Johnny Wactor, known for his role on “General Hospital,” was killed in downtown Los Angeles early Saturday, according to a law enforcement source. (Willy Sanjuan / Invision/Associated Press)

“General Hospital” actor Johnny Wactor was fatally shot early Saturday when he came upon three men trying to steal the catalytic converter from his car, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the case.

The incident occurred around 3:25 a.m. when the owner of a vehicle encountered three people near Pico Boulevard and Hope Street attempting to steal the car part, said Officer Jader Chaves, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department. The man was shot by one of the thieves before all three fled in another vehicle, said Chaves. The officer did not identify the shooting victim but said he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A source on Sunday confirmed 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 “Station 19.”

The source said Wactor discovered the men, who were masked, outside his car and confronted them. That was when he was shot.

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The actor’s mother, Scarlett Wactor, told ABC7 that before her son encountered the thieves, he was leaving a downtown rooftop bar where he had been working and was walking with a colleague. She said he saw people at his car and approached to see if it was being towed before being shot.

Wactor, 37, left “General Hospital” in 2022 when his popular character was written out of the show. At the time, he told Soap Opera Digest he enjoyed the show’s large and loyal fan base.

“It was all new to me, and it was a blessing,” he said. “It made it fun to go to work and then be excited about seeing people react to the storylines you were in. That they actually cared was really cool.”

The catalytic converter, an exhaust emission control device typically found in the undercarriage of a vehicle, contains precious metals including rhodium, palladium and platinum. Thieves can make hundreds of dollars selling them to auto parts suppliers or scrapyards, where they can be melted down and the valuable metals extracted.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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