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'General Hospital' actor Johnny Wactor fatally shot in downtown Los Angeles

American actor Johnny Wactor was shot and killed early Saturday while attempting to stop a crime, authorities and his family said. Photo courtesy of General Hospital/X
American actor Johnny Wactor was shot and killed early Saturday while attempting to stop a crime, authorities and his family said. Photo courtesy of General Hospital/X

May 26 (UPI) -- American actor Johnny Wactor has died, his family said Sunday, after authorities in Los Angeles reported that a person had been fatally shot while attempting to stop thieves stealing a vehicle's catalytic converter early Saturday.

The Los Angeles Police Department said a man was shot in the area of Pico Boulevard and Hope Street at about 3:25 a.m. Saturday after attempting to stop three men from stealing a catalytic converter from a parked vehicle.

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The LAPD did not name the victim, but said he was shot by one of the thieves and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Wactor's mother, Scarlett Wactor, confirmed to NBC4 that the deceased was her son, 37-year-old Johnny Wactor.

"I just don't understand what a senseless coward act by that person," she told the local news station.

No arrests have yet to be made.

Wactor has nearly 50 film and television credits to his name on IMDB, but is probably best known for his performance as Brandon Corbin on General Hospital from 2020-2022.

"The entire General Hospital family is heartbroken to hear of Johnny Wactor's untimely passing," the soap opera television show said in a statement on X late Sunday. "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."

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Jon Lindstrom, who has starred on General Hospital since 1983, said on X, that he was "sick to his stomach" from the news of Wactor's passing.

"Johnny was one of those rare young men in this business who was kind, unassuming, humble and always thought about other people," Lindstrom said in a statement.

"A talented young guy who just wanted to share that talent with the world. I wish I had enough love to fill the hole that his loved ones must feel right now, but I know that's impossible."

Catalytic converters contain precious metals and and are a target for thieves, with the United States seeing a surge in thefts between 2020 and 2022. According to the Justice Department, a catalytic converter can fetch above $1,000 on the black market depending on its model and make of the vehicle it was stolen from.

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