Brandon Lincoln Woodard, a 31-year-old from Los Angeles, was identified as the victim of a "hit" in broad-daylight on December 10 in Midtown Manhattan.
Surveillance video captured the image above, in which an unsuspecting Woodard is seen texting as his assailant raises a gun to nonchalantly execute him from behind with a bullet to the head.
The killer waited for 40 minutes in a gray Lincoln MKZ sedan before getting out and doing the deed. Cops released the video, which shows the killer but not the moment of the gruesome murder, which took place near the Saint Thomas Choir School. Cops say the silver semi-automatic pistol used in the killing is linked to a shooting in Queens in 2009 — when the front of a house was shot up drive-by style.
Who is Woodard and why would he be the target of an assassination? Here's what we know about him.
2. He Had a Criminal Record
Woodard was due in court on January 22 in Beverly on felony charges of possessing cocaine in April. He received probation and did nine days in jail after robbery charges in 2008 and 2009. The 2009 incident was a wild robbery and hit-and-run, detailed by dailybreeze.com:
... Woodard ... is suspected of stealing several bottles of wine from the market at Aviation Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway on Sept. 30, then leading a chase into Redondo Beach ... Woodard escaped in a car that allegedly sideswiped another vehicle. He then struck a Redondo Beach city electrician's truck ... He abandoned the car in the 2100 block of 182nd Street, asked a business owner to borrow some boxes, put the wine inside, hailed a cab and escaped.
3. He Worked at His Mom's Firm
Woodard worked for his mother's Mortgage firm, United Mortgage in Los Angeles. The company is described in an advertisment as the largest independent African-American-owned national mortgage lending firm in the country. The company was founded in 1981 and still lists its Sandra McBeth, Woodard's mom, as the current CEO and president.
4. His Mom Has Enemies, Led by All My Children Star Tonya Pinkins
Former All My Children star Tonya Pinkins has dedicated a website to trashing Woodard's mom, Sandra Mcbeth Reynolds, and her business practices. Her companies United Mortgage and United Mortgage Solutions have been involved in numerous lawsuits. www.sandramcbeth.info details her legal troubles, questions her education, and proudly displays the dismissal of McBeth's case lawsuit against the website. Pinkins is now saying she's not surprised by Woodard's murder.
5. He Was a Law Student
Woodard was a law student at University of West Los Angeles Law School, according to ID found on his body. LA Weekly described him as a "perennial" law student, and he's been linked to multiple law schools. Woodard grew up privileged in the L.A. area and attended private schools.
6. He Was an Aspiring Rapper
In addition, his mom told The New York Times that Woodard "was 'a party and club promoter' who started his own company – Entourage Entertainment – with a friend."
7. He Was a Fixture of the L.A. Club Scene
Woodard was known in the Los Angeles party and club scene as a regular in the VIP rooms of L.A.'s most exclusive nightspots. On Saturday night, two days before the murder, the New York Times reports, he was at a party in an L.A. Club to watch the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight.
8. He Got a Wedgie from Usher's Bodyguard
Woodward had backstage access but apparently wore out his welcome at a 2004 Usher concert. He accused the superstar's bodyguard of roughing him up in bizarre fashion, according to quotes from ContactMusic:
"I'm going to the bathroom and a black guy comes up to me and puts his hand on my back immediately and starts pushing me and he's asking me
questions."I said, 'Get your hands off me,' and then he replied, 'What?', used the 'N' word and then pulled my pants so far up my backside that it bled."
The altercation escalated from there. But according to the same article, Woodard was the one charged with battery, and cops found no wrongdoing by the bodyguards. Nevertheless, Woodard was looking to put his law training to work to bring down Usher's empire:
"I'm definitely going after Usher. I don't want to make it seem like I was going after Usher personally. I'm after, probably, his company, his corporation, or his tour."
9. He Leaves a Daughter
Photos from his Facebook page show Woodard during happy times with his young daughter.
10. His Family is Crushed
DNAinfo quotes father Jesse Lincoln Woodard of Maryland:
This is the worst thing that a parent can experience: the death of a child. It’s almost like it’s unreal.
Brother Sean Douglas Ward shared his grief on Twitter:
RIP to my little brother Brandon Woodard.Heartbroken.Executed on the streets of NYC I can't even believe it.... tmi.me/CdjCj
— Sean Douglas Ward (@ill_shot) December 11, 2012