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Police on both coasts probe shooting of L.A. man [Google+ hangout]

December 12, 2012 |  1:22 pm

Times reporters Kate Mather and Andrew Blankstein will join city editor Shelby Grad at 2 p.m. for a Google+ hangout on the brazen shooting of a Los Angeles man this week on a busy Manhattan street.

Police on both coasts are continuing to investigate the death of Brandon Woodard, 31, of Playa Vista. Detectives from New York arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday, sources said.

From Mather, Blankstein and Times reporter Tina Susman's Wednesday article:

Brandon Woodard checked out of his Midtown Manhattan hotel room Monday afternoon and emerged onto 58th Street a block from Columbus Circle.

As the 31-year-old Playa Vista man walked down the street, 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.

The shooting has riveted New York and made for tabloid headlines. New York police have described the killing as an assassination-style attack.

But it has also reverberated in Los Angeles, where Woodard was raised and made his home.

Woodard grew up in Ladera Heights, played basketball at the exclusive Campbell Hall private high school in Studio City and graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2003. His stepfather, Rod Wellington, said in an interview Tuesday that Woodard was pursuing a law degree at the University of West Los Angeles School of Law (school officials would not confirm if he was enrolled).

His stepfather described Woodard as a "loving son, a loving father and a loving brother." Woodard had a 4-year-old daughter and had a "great relationship" with the girl and her mother, he said.

"He was a good young man," Wellington said.

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