At around 2pm yesterday, Brandon Woodward, 31, was walking around Columbus Circle near 58th Street. Visiting the Big Apple from Los Angeles, he temporarily left behind a criminal record and a young girl but, according to his father, he was enrolled in law school to clean his act up. Except, in a horrific matter of seconds, his life was ended.
In the middle of a constantly crowded area, NYPD authorities told reporters that an unknown gunman in a brown hoodie
ran up to Woodward and shot him point blank in the head directly in front of St. Thomas Choir School. Then, as Woodward fell to the ground, the gunman ran about 60 feet and hopped into a Lincoln sedan apparently waiting nearby, which had an idle driver in front seat ready for escape. The two took off down Seventh Avenue as the bloody man was taken to West Side Medical Center. He was later pronounced dead.
As of now, police have no idea who the gunman was or why Woodward was targeted - the motive was completely unclear. And the fact that it happened near Columbus Circle
is way too reminiscent of what happened near the Empire State Building
this past summer, leaving many people, us included, very uncomfortable.
Here was the late afternoon statement
released by NYPD spokesperson Paul Browne:
At approximately 2:00 pm this afternoon a M/B/31 whose identification indicates he is from Los Angeles, California was shot one time at close range to the back of the head by a M/B, unknown age, wearing a dark coat with hood and khaki pants, as the victim walked westbound on West 58th Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway. The gunman approached the victim from behind as both walked in front of 202 West 58th Street. After he fired, the assailant turned around and entered the passenger front seat of a parked light colored, possibly grey or silver auto. The car with an unknown driver proceeded eastbound on West 58th Street and south on 7th Avenue.
According to the New York Post, the NYPD have obtained video of the shooting, which could be helpful in finding a suspect. Also, they included a graphic picture of the blood-soaked sidewalk; if you're interested in seeing that, you can find it here.
As of now, though, the authorities have no leads. We'll keep you updated.