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