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Johnny Wactor’s Coworker Anita Joy Details His Brave Final Moments: ‘He Fought to Stay’

GoFundMe Launched for 'General Hospital' Star Johnny Wactor's Family Following His Death at Age 37
Johnny Wactor.Steven Bergman/AFF-USA.COM / MEGA

Johnny Wactor’s brave final moments have been revealed by the coworker he was protecting when he was fatally shot aged 37 on Saturday, May 25.

Anita Joy recalled in an emotional post shared via Instagram on Wednesday, May 29, that she and her “friend of 8 years,” Wactor, were walking to their cars in the early hours of Saturday morning after finishing their bartending shifts at Level 8, a venue in downtown Los Angeles. That’s when they spotted three men attempting to steal a car part from Wactor’s car.

“Everything happened in an instant,” Joy wrote. “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.”

According to Joy, “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 to open to his sides in peace.”

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“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,” Joy continued.

Joy said a security guard from Level 8 rushed to their aid and tried to perform CPR on the General Hospital actor.

“It was too close range, too extreme of a wound for him to survive it,” she wrote. “But my God, he fought to stay.”

'General Hospital' Alum Johnny Wactor's Cause of Death Revealed After Fatal Shooting at 37
Johnny Wactor. Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Joy said that she is “heartbroken and so very angry” but finds solace in that “I was with him and this didn’t happen to him alone.”

“My only other peace will be seeing these awful men brought to justice,” she wrote.

In the caption of her post, Joy shared more memories of Wactor — best known for playing Brando Corbin in General Hospital — describing him as “beautiful, goofy as hell, full of work ethic and values.”

“Johnny had this incredible ability that was truly just his genuine nature — to make anyone and everyone feel so special in his eyes. No matter how well you knew him, he treated everyone like he truly cared about you,” wrote Joy.

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She continued, “He called me ‘Anita Bonita’ and I hope the stamp of his voice saying that every time I saw him never leaves my memory. Just one look into his big blue eyes, followed by a big goofy grin, Johnny made you love him instantly. Absolutely one of the best men I’ve ever known. I’m so grateful to have been a part of his world and him, mine.”

Joy also called on Level 8 to provide parking for staff working late hours, adding: “Level 8 needs to contribute to Johnny’s family to honor and respect him for all the hard work and effort he did for them.” (Us Weekly has reached out to Level 8 for comment.)

Wactor’s mother, Scarlett Wactor, exclusively told Us on Wednesday, May 28, that she had spoken to his coworker following her son’s death.

“[She] was very gracious in speaking with me so I could ask questions,” Scarlett said. “She felt detectives were being very thorough and that made me feel comforted.”

“I’m glad he was not alone,” she added.

Scarlett said that she wants “justice” for her son. “I don’t want it to be a cold case,” she said.

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