Brandon Woodard Shooting Update: Alleged gunman was silent and precise, NYPD officials say
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - Police said the alleged gunman who killed a Los Angeles man Monday on a midtown Manhattan street in broad daylight was so cool and precise that NYPD officials believe he has killed before. They believe he maybe a professional hit man.
Officials said a security video not made available to the public shows the suspect walking behind 31-year-old Brandon Woodard and, without a word, pressing the barrel of a pistol to the back of his head. It appears that before the suspect even pulls the trigger, he turned to slip into a Lincoln sedan with a getaway driver already starting to pull away.
Other cameras captured the car fleeing through the Midtown Tunnel to Queens, where on Wednesday it was found, unoccupied and parked, by police on using high-tech license plate readers. The discovery was a possible break in a case where no motive or suspects were identified.
Police also have interviewed a woman who spent time with Woodard the evening before his shooting death. The woman and Woodard watched an NFL game together at his hotel before going out to dinner, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday.
The NYPD sent detectives to Los Angeles to obtain a search warrant for the victim's home. The manhunt for the gunman and his getaway driver "is going forward aggressively," Kelly said.
Woodard was described variously as a promoter, petty criminal, would-be lawyer and family man. He was killed Monday afternoon after checking out of a hotel on nearby Columbus Circle and was possibly lured into an ambush a few blocks away, near Central Park.
Based on security video, police know the killer arrived at least 30 minutes before the gunfire erupted. The man could be seen exiting - and carefully pulling the hood of his jacket over his head - the passenger side of the parked Lincoln sedan and pacing as he waited, police said.
After getting there, Woodard checked his phone and walked back and forth as if looking for an address, police said. Other video - released to seek the public's help in identifying the gunman - shows the gunman reaching into his pocket 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 the same Lincoln sedan and was driven away.
Kelly said Wednesday that investigators were still examining three phones carried by Woodard when he flew to New York City on Sunday for reasons that are unclear. Two were found on his body and one in luggage he left at his hotel.
Authorities in Los Angeles and Las Vegas have said Woodard had a criminal record in both cities. He was due back in court on Jan. 22 following his April arrest by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in West Hollywood on a felony cocaine possession charge. He had previously pleaded not guilty.
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