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Man shot execution-style on busy NYC street in broad daylight; gunman sought

December 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A Southern California man was killed execution-style in New York City on a busy Midtown Manhattan street on Monday afternoon.

Those who knew Brandon Lincoln Woodard describe him as a smart young man with a kind heart who had so many people who loved him.

"We're all of course deeply, deeply saddened, shocked. There are no words to describe how we are feeling," said friend Chrissy Roussell.

The 31-year-old student at Whittier Law School was gunned down in broad daylight. According to police, it was one shot to the back of the head. Dozens of people heard the gunfire, but what they didn't see was the gunman getting away.

Police said the suspect jumped into the front seat of a waiting SUV at 58th Street and 7th Avenue. Investigators believe it was a grey or silver Lincoln. Eyewitness News has confirmed the crime was caught on surveillance cameras in the area, including one over the entrance of St. Thomas Choir School. Woodward was killed just steps away from the school's front door.

"As he [shooter] walks up to the victim, the victim turns, he is looking at his phone or iPod as he is walking. The shooter gets right behind him. It is one shot right in the back of the head. It is a hit, no question about it," police told ABC News.

Eyewitness News has learned that the suspected gunman had been in the area for about 40 minutes before the hit. Authorities said he was wearing a dark hooded coat and khaki pants.

Woodard grew up in an affluent Ladera Heights neighborhood, where his family still lives. He has a 4-year-old daughter. According to friends, he was a good father and friend. He was on his way to becoming a lawyer, but he had a criminal past. He was convicted of grand theft in 2009, and according to published reports, he was involved in an altercation in 2004 with a security guard for the singer Usher at a concert in Las Vegas. Woodard was charged with misdemeanor battery.

"I'm really not at liberty to speak about that," Roussell said.

Woodard's family and friends in Southern California said they want answers.

"Nobody has a clue. We're all sitting around certainly wondering, and as I said, just want justice to be served," said Roussell.


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