Former soap star Johnny Wactor fatally shot while protecting female coworker from thieves in Los Angeles

The actor's brother said he had been raised a "southern gentleman."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

Johnny Wactor has been identified as the man shot dead by thieves in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday night.

The 37-year-old actor, best known for his role in General Hospital, was reportedly protecting an unidentified female colleague from the perpetrators when they opened fire.

According to NBC News, the incident took place shortly before 3:30 am on the corner of Pico Boulevard and Hope Street as Wactor, who moonlighted as a bartender, was walking back to his vehicle with one of his female colleagues after finishing up a shift at the rooftop establishment where they worked.

When the vehicle came into view, Wactor saw that it was jacked up. Thinking he was being towed, he asked the man who was lying on the street next to the vehicle whether that was the case. It turned out the thief was attempting to steal his catalytic converter.

The man pulled out a gun and shot Wactor, who was shielding his female colleague from harm, before he and his two masked accomplices who were waiting in another vehicle fled the scene.

First responders showed up a short time later, at which point Wactor was pronounced dead.

The Charleston, South Carolina native's younger brother, Grant, told the Daily Mail that he wasn't surprised Johnny had died defending his coworker, calling him a "southern gentleman."

"We're southern born and raised," he explained, "and we would never let a female walk to their car by herself."

Grant said Johnny "was probably the hardest working person I've ever met in my life," calling him, "a great brother and son."

"I hope they are able to track the people who did this," he added. "I am glad in a way that this is getting the publicity so that it could shed some light that things need to change, or find ways so that no one else has to experience this - whether it be a murder or being at the wrong place at the wrong time."

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