Search for gunman in Midtown shooting continues

December 12, 2012 8:11:23 PM PST
Police are interviewed a person who they thought might be connected to the getaway car involved in the Midtown shooting, but he was later released.

Sources tell Eyewitness News the person was picked up by police earlier Wednesday in Queens and was being asked what they know about the shooting. Police believe they found the getaway car earlier Wednesday.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday that the car had been found in Queens. The gun used in the shooting had also been linked to a 2009 shooting in Queens.

Now, detectives are swarming Queens, looking for information that could lead them to the hit man who slipped away near Columbus Circle even though there were more than a dozen eyewitnesses nearby.

Authorities had said the car was rented from an Avis terminal and John F. Kennedy International Airport and was spotted heading through the Lincoln Tunnel after the shooting.

The same weapon used to kill Brandon Woodard around 2 p.m. on West 58th Street and Seventh Avenue was also used to fire a dozen shots into a home in Queens in 2009. No one was hurt in that incident, and police were never able to pin down the motive or the shooter.

The new information comes after police released surveillance video of the suspect milling about the street 10 minutes before the shooting and a still image of him approaching Woodard from behind while drawing the gun from his hoodie.

The suspect apparently waiting for Woodard for nearly 40 minutes, and police believe he may have been lured to the area. They are working on the theory that Woodard was delivering narcotics for drug dealers.

"The shooter is right behind him," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "It appears that he sees the shooter, although the shooter is wearing a hoodie. It appears that he sees the shooter to the extent that if he knew him, he would have recognized him. There's no indication that he recognizes him. His head goes forward, and that's when he's shot."

Police say Woodard appeared to be checking address numbers and messages on his phone right up to the moment he was shot in the back of the head.

Authorities have the plate number of the getaway vehicle, but still no car and no suspects despite all the surveillance video.

"You can characterize it as either being brazen or being foolhardy," Kelly said. "We'll see."

Woodard once complained on a TV show called "Celebrity Justice", that a security team for the R&B singer Usher beat him up backstage.

Usher turned out to be the least of his worries.

Woodard was murdered with a single gunshot wound to the back of his head as he was distracted by one of his three cell phones.

Several people were questioned Wednesday but no one is in custody, as the final moments of Brandon Woodard's provide few clues for police to follow.

"He told the concierge he was leaving his luggage there and would pick it up when he returned," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

But it's not clear where he was going, and he apparently did not have a return ticket to California.


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