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Surveillance video released in NYC murder of LA man

December 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
New York police on Tuesday released surveillance video of the suspect in the execution-style murder of a Southern California man on a busy Midtown Manhattan street.

The images show the gunman, wearing a black hoodie, just as he pulls a gun from his pocket, seconds before he killed Brandon Lincoln Woodard of Ladera Heights.

Woodard, 31, was looking down at his cellphone at the time when the suspect shot him in the back of the head execution-style near the intersection of 58th Street and 7th Avenue Monday.

Surveillance video also captured the suspect getting out of a silver Lincoln sedan. Investigators believe the suspect was sitting in that vehicle for at least half an hour before he got out and carried out the murder. Police believe the same vehicle was used as the getaway vehicle.

Police believe Woodard may have been lured to the location.

"The sheer fact that he shot him in the back of the head tells me that this was planned, and this was directed," said former FBI special agent Brad Garrett.

The area was very crowded at the time of the shooting, and while there are several witness to the shooting, no one really got a good look at the shooter.

According to ABC News, ballistics from the shooting indicate the same 9-mm semi-automatic pistol was used on Nov. 22, 2009, to fire a volley of 12 shots at a home in Queens. No one was injured in that incident.

Woodard had been living in Playa Vista, studying to be a lawyer. He was currently enrolled at West Los Angeles School of Law. Woodard's stepfather Rodney Wellington said the family is in shock over the brutal killing. The Loyola Marymount University graduate was the father of a 4-year-old daughter.

"Our hearts are just very hurt right now, so we're trying to deal with the grief," Wellington said. "It's just a devastating event right now."

Wellington said Woodard called his mother on Sunday afternoon to tell her he would be back from New York on Tuesday to take his law school finals. They have no idea why Woodard was in New York or why he was targeted.

According to public records, Woodard had been arrested 20 times since 2004. He was convicted of grand theft in 2009, and he was charged with misdemeanor battery after an altercation in 2004 with a security guard for the singer Usher at a concert in Las Vegas. Woodard was also facing a cocaine possession charge out of Beverly Hills and had been scheduled to be in court next month.


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