New details emerge in killing of ‘General Hospital’ actor Johnny Wactor

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

New details are emerging about the shooting death of “General Hospital” actor Johnny Wactor early Saturday at the hands of catalytic converter thieves in downtown Los Angeles.

No arrests have been made in the killing, which has sparked shock and outrage. Wactor, 37, played Brando Corbin on “General Hospital” from 2020 to 2022. He also had roles on shows, including “Westworld,” “Criminal Minds” and “Station 19.”

Here a breakdown of what we know:

The shooting

Wactor was killed around 3:25 a.m. while leaving a rooftop bar where he worked with a colleague. He encountered three people near Pico Boulevard and Hope Street trying to steal his car’s catalytic converter, authorities said. One of the thieves shot Wactor before fleeing.

His co-worker, Anita Joy, posted details about those final moments on Instagram.

“We cautiously approached the men, questioning what they were doing, at first thinking the 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.

“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!’ We toppled onto the street, where I pushed my legs under him and tried to hold his body up while screaming for help and screaming at him to stay with me.”

Her account fits with an LAPD narrative released about the shooting.

“When Wactor arrived at his vehicle, he was 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,” authorities said in a news release. “Without provocation, the victim was shot by one of the individuals. The three suspects involved were wearing all dark clothing and driving a dark-colored sedan.”

Joy closed her post by saying: “My heart is shattered with his loss but I believe l have gained the best guardian Angel out there.”

The investigation

Law enforcement sources say police are trying to pull fingerprints from Wactor’s car and are looking for videos from the area. They also are checking to see if there are connections to other nearby catalytic converter thefts.

LAPD investigators say they have seen an uptick in violence when such thieves are confronted.

Catalytic converters thefts

Catalytic converters, which control exhaust emissions, are typically found in the undercarriage of a vehicle and contain 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 valuable metals extracted.

Thefts of catalytic converters skyrocketed in California during the COVID-19 pandemic, which some attributed to increased economic distress. The trend prompted new state laws that make it illegal for recyclers to buy the parts from anyone other than the vehicle’s legal owner or a licensed dealer and increased penalties for buyers who fail to certify that a catalytic converter wasn’t stolen.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.