Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Man Shot, Killed in Midtown Manhattan

The victim has been identified as a 31-year-old man originally from Los Angeles

A man was shot and killed in busy midtown Manhattan near Columbus Circle on Monday afternoon at the height of the holiday shopping season, according to authorities.

Police say the gunman approached the 31-year-old victim from behind as he walked westbound on 58th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, shooting him in the back of the head outside a Catholic school just before 2 p.m.

The suspect, wearing a dark jacket with a khaki hood, then got into a parked gray or silver Lincoln MKZ. The car, driven by someone else, sped away, police said.

The victim, identified as Brandon Lincoln Woodard of Los Angeles, was pronounced dead at the hospital. Shell casings for the silver semi-automatic weapon were found at the scene.

Law enforcement sources tell NBC 4 New York that the entire shooting was caught on surveillance video. Authorities believed the shooting was planned in advance. 

People on the street who heard the gunshot and saw the man fall ran to the firehouse on the block to get help.

"We all flinched because it was so close," said Benny Harris.

A native of Los Angeles, Woodard was most recently living in Chicago, according to public records. He lived in Yucca Valley and Playa Vista in California before that. It's not clear why he was in New York City. 

Woodard's father told the Daily News he has a young daughter and was enrolled in law school. 

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