A shocking image has been released of the moment a suspected hit man followed closely behind his victim on a busy Manhattan street and pulled a gun out of his pocket, right before he shot him in the head at close range.
NYPD have released CCTV footage which shows Brandon Lincoln Woodard, 31, from Los Angeles, walking and texting on his phone as his killer gets out of his getaway car and walks almost beside him.
The killer exited the passenger side door of his light grey Lincoln Sedan on 58th Street and casually popped the hood of his black sweatshirt before taking the semi-automatic pistol out of his pocket.
He followed his victim for around ten minutes before killing him.
Police say it was a targeted hit. The killer is still at large.
The NYPD released a statement saying: ‘In the video, the gunman wanted in the shooting death yesterday of Brandon Lincoln Woodard, 31 of Los Angeles, is seen ten minutes before the shooting.
‘The shooter, who appears to be bald and may have a beard, exited a late model Lincoln sedan, initially bare-headed, but soon pulled the hood of his jacket over his head.
‘Ten minutes later, at approximately 2:00pm, the shooter walked up behind Woodard and fired. In the attached still, the gunman is seen behind Woodard a moment before the shooting, pulling the weapon from his jacket pocket.’
Woodard was an aspiring rapper and his father told the New York Daily News he was in law school.
He also had a four-year-old daughter in Los Angeles. According to NBC, he most recently lived in Chicago.
However, New York 1 reports that Woodard also had a criminal past – including charges for cocaine possession and hit-and-run driving.
In 2009, he was arrested for stealing several bottles of wine from a market and has an assault and battery charge from as recent as June 2012.
‘This is a shock,’ Woodard’s father J Lincoln Woodard told the Daily News. ‘He was a very good son, loving.’
He said his son’s legal trouble was behind him and that he was studying to become a lawyer. However Mr Woodward, who is divorced from the victim’s mother, said he has not seen his son since his 1999 high school graduation.
Police say surveillance cameras recorded the shooting and that other cameras in the area recorded the killer waiting for Woodard for at least 40 minutes. After reviewing the footage from the area they believe they have a picture of the gunman.
The suspect, described as a black male wearing a dark coat, dark hood and khaki pants, hopped into the passenger side of a light-colored Lincoln MKZ sedan NYPD seconds later spokesman Paul Browne said.
A silver, semi-automatic gun was used.
Investigators are probing a possible connection to drug dealing. Police are also looking at Woodard’s ties to the music industry. He once claimed he was roughed up by bodyguards working for R&B star Usher.
Police investigate the scene where a man was fatally shot in the back of the head in New York on Monday outside a school near Columbus Circle
Sadet Kolo, 36, who was skateboarding near the victim told the New York Daily News: ‘It came out of nowhere. I turned around and saw a man next to me, on the ground. I called 911 and told him “Hang on. Help is on the way”
Police continue their investigation. Woodard’s father J Lincoln Woodard said his son’s legal trouble was behind him and that he was studying to become a lawyer
‘The victim was walking westbound on West 58th Street,’ Mr Browne said. ‘The shooter walked up behind him and shot him at close range.
‘At one point the victim looked behind him then continued walking before he was shot. There was no rush. He just walked up to him, shot him and walked away.’
Witness Benny Harris, 44, a pedicab tour guide told DNAInfo:‘We heard a single shot. We all flinched. It was loud. We looked down the block. We saw a guy on the ground.
‘I ran and banged on the door of the nearby firehouse. Within a minute three firefighters were working on him. They tore his clothes open and had that machine to revive people.
‘He was facing up. You could see an iPhone and headphones laying next to him. So it wasn’t a robbery, clearly.’
Sadet Kolo, 36, who was skateboarding near the victim told the New York Daily News:‘It came out of nowhere. I turned around and saw a man next to me, on the ground. I called 911 and told him “Hang on. Help is on the way”.
‘He was bleeding bad. Blood was gushing out of his eyeball, his nose, mouth, everywhere. He was talking a little. Or trying to. He was alive for good two minutes.
‘You could not even see anything on one side of his face. It was gone. Half of his face was gone. Poor b*****d. I didn’t even see a shooter. I hope they catch him.’
David Mirambeau, 29, a delivery man for United Parcel Service Inc. told the Wall Street Journal: ‘I just heard the shot. He was gasping for air, he was still alive.’
In 2003, Woodard received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, the school confirmed. Prior to this, he attended the private Campbell Hall High School.
Source: The Daily Mail