It was a Monday afternoon in midtown Manhattan when Brandon Lincoln Woodard, 31, was shot in the back of the head at close range in early December. All anyone could hear was a little pop. Some even mistook the sound for a tire pop. But, left lying on the ground was Woodard bleeding to his death.
The incident took place on West 58th Street, near Columbus Circle. Woodard was pronounced dead by the time he arrived at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center.
Woodard had travelled to New York City from Los Angeles and was staying at the Hudson Hotel on West 58th Street, about a block from the shooting. What was Woodard doing in New York City and why was there a plot to murder him? Those were questions on police investigators’ mind after viewing surveillance showing the shooter in action and then turning around to walk back to a parked, waiting gray or silver MKZ Lincoln sedan that drove away toward Times Square.
As it turns out, Woodard was at the center of a drug deal that went bad. A Queens drug crew paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for cocaine shipment from Mexico that were to be delivered to them via a Los Angeles gang. Woodard was reportedly the courier, but the drugs were not received by the Queens drug crew.
Woodard was lured to come to New York City to be shot and killed.
The DEA and NYPD are working together to build intelligence around the case of Woodard’s murder and the narcotics case. It is hoped the intelligence will also help make connections related to other drug trafficking cases between the East and West coast as well as out of the country.
At the scene, Woodard left behind three cell phones. Police are working to gather the appropriate evidence to build a strong case before bringing in the possible suspects for questioning.
Woodard has a criminal record and was due back in court on Jan. 22 for a felony cocaine possession charge in West Hollywood.