Police say 31-year-old Brandon Lincoln Woodard was walking on 58th street between 7th Ave. and Broadway before he was shot in the back of the head by an unknown assailant. This happened near the Time Warner Center.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Tuesday that Woodard may have been lured to the area where he was killed. Before the attack he was walking back and forth and checking his phone for messages.
Kelly said security video indicates the unidentified shooter had been waiting in a car parked on the same block at least a half hour before the gunfire erupted. The car fled the scene and was last seen going through the Midtown Tunnel toward Queens.
According to the Los Angeles Times, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the car, a silver or gray Lincoln, the suspect fled the crime scene in was being driven by another person.
New York Police Department investigators were examining three phones carried by Woodard when he flew to New York City on Sunday. Two were found on his body and one in luggage he left at his hotel.
Ballistics evidence pointed to another possible lead: The 9mm semiautomatic used to kill Woodard was the same weapon used in 2009 to shoot up the outside of a home in the borough of Queens where nobody was hurt.
The brazen slaying of the 31-year-old college graduate "certainly appears to have been planned," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters.
Investigators were still trying to determine what Woodard, who checked into his hotel on Sunday after flying in from California on a one-way ticket, was doing in the city. Kelly said he has been described as a promoter but had no further details.
Woodard graduated from Campbell Hall High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Loyola Marymount University, the statement said.
Authorities in Los Angeles and Las Vegas confirmed that Woodard had a history of run-ins with the law in both places.
Woodard had been due back in court Jan. 22 following his arrest by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in West Hollywood in April on a felony cocaine possession charge. He had previously pleaded not guilty.
Sandra and Rodney Wellington, Woodard's mother and stepfather, released a statement Tuesday urging anyone with information on the killing to contact police.
"There are no words to express our shock and sadness in the face of our family's horrendous tragedy. We eagerly await justice for Brandon," the statement said.
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