Crime and Courts

Friends and family of actor Johnny Wactor march to LA City Hall in call for justice

No arrests have been reported in the deadly May 25 encounter involving the 37-year-old "General Hospital actor and a group of catalytic converter thieves in downtown Los Angeles.

What to Know

  • "General Hospital" actor Johnny Wactor was shot and killed May 25 in downtown Los Angeles after encountering catalytic converter thieves, the LAPD says.
  • Wactor, who was returning to his car after a bartending shift, was shot without provocation, police say.
  • The actor appeared in nearly 200 episodes of "General Hospital" from 2020-22.

Family members and friends of actor Johnny Wactor marched to Los Angeles City Hall Wednesday to call for justice three weeks after he was shot and killed by thieves as they stole his car's catalytic converter in downtown LA.

The group gathered near the scene of the tragic encounter at about 10 a.m. for a news conference ahead of the march to City Hall. They plan to ask city leaders to post a reward for information leading to the 37-year-old former "General Hospital" actor's killers.

"Johnny's family and friends are urging local community leaders to explore legislative and municipal actions that will hopefully not only lead to breakthroughs in Johnny's case, but that will also help make the city that Johnny chose to call home safer. This should be important to us all," organizers said in a statement.

Wactor was shot and killed May 25 by one of the catalytic converter thieves without provocation, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement. Wactor and a co-worker had just left work at a nearby bar when they encountered the men, who had Wactor's car raised on a floor jack.

Automobile catalytic converters contain precious metals that thieves try to re-sell.

"Back home we're all hurting obviously,'' Wactor's brother Grant told the crowd gathered at the shooting site Wednesday morning. "We're doing everything we can to try to stay busy to try to keep this in the forefront, so thank you all for being here and helping us keep this out there so we can continue to press this issue. The main thing is just, it was a senseless act of violence. It was something that none of us expected. He was 37 years old. He would be 38 in August. And it hurts.

"We want something to be done. 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 fine and capture all these people, but we hope
that any resources that (are) available continue to be (used)."

The co-worker who was with Wactor said he stood in front of her when one of the men opened fire. Anita Joy said they approached the men, thinking the car was being towed.

"Johnny kept his cool as he always did, simply stating that it was his car and for them to leave," Joy said in the Instagram post. "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!'

"Everything happened in an instant. I've come to describe it as a glass of water that gets tipped over and you're scrambling to grab it and save it from spilling out completely but it just runs through your fingertips and is gone."

She said a security guard from work crossed the street and ran toward them while on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. They used a denim jacket in a desperate effort to stop the bleeding and conducted CPR, Joy said.

Wactor died at a hospital. The coroner's report said he died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Scarlett Wactor, the actor's mother, confirmed to NBC News that Joy was the co-worker with her son.

No arrests were reported in the killing that left Wactor's friends, family and colleagues in mourning.

The three individuals were wearing dark clothing and left the scene in a dark sedan after the shooting in the 1200 block of Hope Street. More detailed descriptions of the attackers and the getaway vehicle were not immediately available.

Wactor appeared on nearly 200 episodes of "General Hospital'' from 2020-22. Other credits included "Westworld,'' "The OA,'' "NCIS,'' "Station 19,'' "Criminal Minds'' and "Hollywood Girl."

"The entire General Hospital family is heartbroken to hear of Johnny Wactor's untimely passing. 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," the ABC daytime drama posted Sunday on X.

Anyone with information about the attackers was urged to call the LAPD's Central Station at 213-486-6606. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or visit Crime Stoppers.

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