UPDATE: Police have a man in custody in connection with the fatal shooting inÂ Midtown Manhattan, a source told Fox 5’s Lisa Evers. Detectives are working toÂ verify the man’s identity. He is from Queens, the source said.
Police revealed Wednesday that they found a getaway car used in anÂ execution-style daylight slaying of a Los Angeles man on a busy Manhattan streetÂ — a possible break in a case that has defied easy answers.
No motive or suspects have been identified in the shooting of Brandon LincolnÂ Woodard. But New York Police Department officers located the missing LincolnÂ sedan — parked and unoccupied — during a sweep of a Queens neighborhood withÂ high-tech license plate readers, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at aÂ news conference about an unrelated drug takedown.
Police also have interviewed a woman who spent time with Woodard the eveningÂ before a gunman put a bullet in the back of his head in midtown, a block fromÂ Central Park. The woman and Woodard watched an NFL game together at his hotelÂ before going out to dinner, Kelly said.
The NYPD has sent detectives to Los Angeles to obtain a search warrant forÂ the victim’s home, the commissioner said. The manhunt for the gunman and hisÂ getaway driver “is going forward aggressively,” he said.
Kelly declined to comment on reports that the getaway car had been rented byÂ someone other than the hit team and possibly loaned to them for the hit.
The 31-year-old Woodard — described variously as a promoter, petty criminal,Â would-be lawyer and family man — was killed Monday afternoon after he checkedÂ out of a hotel on nearby Columbus Circle and possibly lured into an ambush a fewÂ blocks away.
The killer had arrived at least 30 minutes before the gunfire erupted. TheÂ man, who appears to be bald and have a beard, could be seen on surveillanceÂ video exiting the passenger side of the parked Lincoln sedan and pacing as heÂ waited, police said.
After Woodard got there, he checked his phone and walked back and forth as ifÂ looking for an address, police said. A security photo — released to seek theÂ public’s help in identifying the gunman — shows him reaching into his pocketÂ for a pistol moments before he fired a single deadly round.
The shooter left Woodard in a pool of blood on the sidewalk, slipped into theÂ same Lincoln sedan and was driven away.
Kelly said Wednesday that investigators were still examining three phonesÂ carried by Woodard when he flew to New York City for unclear reasons on Sunday.Â Two were found on his body and one in luggage he left at his hotel.
Sandra and Rodney Wellington, Woodard’s mother and stepfather, released aÂ statement Tuesday urging anyone with information on the killing to contactÂ police.
“There are no words to express our shock and sadness in the face of ourÂ family’s horrendous tragedy. We eagerly await justice for Brandon,” theÂ statement said.
They described him as a “gentle and generous young man,” a devoted father andÂ son who loved sports.
Woodard graduated from Campbell Hall High School and earned a bachelor’sÂ degree from Loyola Marymount University, the statement said.
Authorities in Los Angeles and Las Vegas have said Woodard had a criminalÂ record in both cities.
Woodard had been due back in court Jan. 22 following his arrest by LosÂ Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in West Hollywood in April on a felony cocaineÂ possession charge. He had previously pleaded not guilty.
Woodard attended the Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa for two semesters inÂ the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011, school spokeswoman Judy DeVine said.Â However, she declined to provide details of his records, what he was studying orÂ why he left, citing privacy laws.
Source: Fox 5 NYÂ Â