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L.A. Now Live: L.A. man killed in brazen N.Y. shooting

December 12, 2012 |  8:24 am

New York police are continuing to investigate a brazen killing that left Brandon Woodard, 31, of Playa Vista dead.

Times reporter Kate Mather will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. to discuss the case, which has riveted New York and made for tabloid headlines. New York police have described the killing as an assassination-style attack.

Woodard was gunned down while walking down the street near Columbus Circle.  A man standing near a Lincoln sedan pulled a hood over his head as Woodard passed. A short time later, the two passed each other a second time. The man turned, pulled out a gun and shot Woodard at close range in the back of the head with a 9-millimeter pistol. He got back into the Lincoln, which pulled away.

Neither police nor family members said they have any idea for a motive.

On Tuesday, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said detectives had made progress in their investigation from ballistics evidence and video surveillance footage that captured the shooting and the suspected getaway vehicle.

He added that investigators were pursuing all leads, including Woodard's criminal history and his family's real estate dealings.

Kelly said Woodard, who carried three cellphones, was believed to be a promoter of some kind, but did not elaborate.

It was not clear what brought Woodard to New York after he purchased a one-way ticket from California, Kelly said, or where he was going when he left the hotel. Woodard checked into the hotel Sunday and checked out about 1:15 p.m. the next day.

Kelly said it was clear the gunman lay in wait for Woodard and didn't act alone.

The suspect had a driver who, after the hit, pulled a silver or gray Lincoln onto 58th Street, Kelly said. Once the gunman was in the car, the vehicle headed south on 7th Avenue and disappeared. A short time later, a car "similar in description" was seen heading through the midtown tunnel eastbound into Queens, where the driver paid the toll with cash.

Investigators had the license plate of the vehicle, but Kelly declined to release the information, citing the ongoing investigation.