“General Hospital” Actor Johnny Wactor's Brother Speaks Out on His Killing: 'He Was Taken Way Too Early'

“He was a good person,” Wactor's younger brother Grant tells PEOPLE

<p>AFF-USA/Shutterstock</p> Johnny Wactor


Johnny Wactor

General Hospital actor Johnny Wactor was killed early Saturday morning when he came upon armed car thieves who were attempting to steal a car part, according to his brother.

Wactor’s brother Grant Wactor tells PEOPLE that his brother, who was working as a bartender, and a female co-worker were walking to their vehicles after their shift around 3:25 a.m. on May 25 when the shooting happened.

Grant says the colleagues were approaching their vehicles when his brother noticed his car “was jacked up or lifted in some way. He thought he was being towed.”

Grant says his brother soon realized “they were definitely not tow truck people,” he tells PEOPLE.

The three men were attempting to steal the vehicle’s catalytic converter, LAPD officer Jeff Lee tells PEOPLE.

Grant says Wactor, 37, put his body in front of his female colleague and had put his hands up when he was shot.

“He did not confront them,” he says. “He did not try to stop them. He was just trying to diffuse the situation by stepping back.”

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Grant believes the men “weren't expecting anybody to walk up on them, so they got scared. And there's nothing more dangerous than a coward with a gun in his hand.”

After the shooting, the men fled the scene in a vehicle, Lee said. Wactor was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Lee says the “suspects are still outstanding.” Grant says he hopes the killers are brought to justice.

“We're definitely hoping and praying that they find them and can bring them to justice,” he says.  “We just want it to be done as quickly as possible and correctly.”

<p>AFF-USA/Shutterstock</p> Johnny Wactor


Johnny Wactor

“He was a good person,” Grant says about his brother. “He was taken way too early, and no one should be taken like this at all. He touched a lot of people. He believed in his core values to the end, and he lived life to the fullest the way he wanted to. And he was happy doing that.”

Grant says the avid rock climber started doing theater in elementary school and moved to Los Angeles after he graduated from college around 2007 to pursue his acting dream.

Related: General Hospital Actor Johnny Wactor Dead at 37: 'A Spectacular Human Being'

“He was always very self-motivated, self-driven, a very hard worker," Grant says. "He always wanted to do more, to do better. That’s what I think made him happy. He liked making people laugh, making people smile. Every fan that he had, he loved doing it for them and making them happy."

Wactor’s friend Chelsea White tells PEOPLE that she met the actor more than a decade ago.

“Johnny or Wactor as I always called him was one of those people that grabbed your attention the minute he walked into the room,” she wrote in an email. “And sure, he was a great looking guy with a megawatt smile, but it was more than that. His soul and energy radiated warmth and his inner goodness and goofy country-boy antics drew people to him. He made you feel cherished. In a place like LA where authenticity is hard to come by, he was the antithesis. Whether he was acting or picking up some bar shifts to cover the slow times, he gave it his all."

Related: General Hospital Stars Pay Tribute to Johnny Wactor After His Sudden Death at 37: 'One of a Kind'

Adding: "He would have given his shirt off his back to anyone who needed it. And I know if he thought those people needed the money from that car part, he would have gladly given it to them. But instead, they took a light and warmth from this world for what, a few hundred bucks? The world is colder and darker without Wactor, and those people need to know what they robbed us all of.”

Wactor, who was best known for his General Hospital role as Brando Corbin, also appeared in Army Wives, NCIS, The OA, Westworld, The Passenger, Station 19, Barbee Rehab, Siberia, Agent X, Vantastic, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Girl, Training Day, Criminal Minds and more.

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