(UPDATE) Police release video of Columbus Circle killer
Police released video today of the murderer they said shot a man in the middle of the day yesterday.
The afternoon shooting near Columbus Circle terrified bystanders in a typically heavily populated area of Manhattan.
The video shows the gunman 10 minutes before the 2 p.m. shooting, exiting a car and putting up the hood of his jacket. He then lingers nearby as people walk past him with umbrellas and shopping bags.
Police said Monday night that the man killed was Brandon Lincoln Woodard, a 31-year-old from Los Angeles.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said today that testing indicated that the same gun was used in a 2009 shooting in Queens, where 12 shots were fired at a residence by two men.
A separate video still released by police shows Woodard walking in front of the killer shortly before he was shot. Woodward is walking and looking at his phone.
In the photo, the gunman is pulling the weapon from his right jacket pocket.
Cops said the shooter appears to be bald and might have a beard, and the car he exited was a late-model Lincoln sedan.
Woodard reportedly had a previous criminal record but was now studying law at Loyola Marymount University.
He was shot at close range in the back of the head once from a silver semiautomatic handgun, cops said, on 58th Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway.
The address of the shooting was 202 West 58th Street, according to cops, which is the location of the St. Thomas Choir School.
The NYPD said Woodard was walking west, and the gunman approached him from behind as they were both passing in front of the school.
An NYPD spokeswoman told Metro that the victim was found “likely to die” and was transported to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
After shooting the victim, the suspect turned around and got in the passenger side of a parked silver or gray car, police said. The car drove east on West 58th Street and turned south on 7th Avenue, the NYPD said. The driver of the car has not been identified.
The shooting took place near Columbus Circle, usually an area packed with tourists and office workers.
Bystanders near the scene expressed shock at a murder in a typically safe and traffic-heavy location.
“I’m around here all the time,” said Tawnya Calzada, 22, a student who lives on the Upper West Side and attends the Art Students League of New York nearby.
“You can usually feel pretty safe around here,” she said. “I don’t like the idea of it happening so close to school.”
Dennis Goldberg, 27, a retail worker who lives in Hell’s Kitchen, said he has walked by three or four shooting scenes in the two years he has lived here.
“This city scares me sometimes,” he said.
Miles Dixon contributed reporting