UK & World News

  • 11 December 2012, 20:32

Man Shot Dead In 'Targeted Hit' In New York

A man has been fatally shot in the back of the head near New York's Central Park, in what police are calling a targeted hit.

The killer sped off in a getaway car as the victim, Brandon Lincoln Woodard, 31, lay in a pool of blood with a single gunshot wound, police said.

Mr Woodard, from Los Angeles, had been walking close to the busy shopping and tourist area of Columbus Circle when the gunman approached him from behind and fired what looked like a silver semi-automatic pistol.

The shooting happened on Monday afternoon outside the Saint Thomas Choir School, a boarding school for young boys on 58th Street, a quiet street between Broadway and 7th Avenue, just blocks away from Central Park.

No pupils witnessed the shooting because they were rehearsing at a church at the time, said school receptionist Allie Roma.

"We didn't hear the gunshots, but we saw the flashing lights," Ms Roma said.

Witnesses described hearing what sounded like a car backfiring before seeing Mr Woodard on the ground with blood pouring out of his face.

"It came out of nowhere," Sadet Kolo told the New York Daily News. "I turned around and saw a man next to me, on the ground. I called 911 and told him 'Hang on. Help is on the way.'"

"He was bleeding bad," Mr Kolo added. "Blood was gushing out of his eyeball, his nose, mouth, everywhere. He was talking a little. Or trying to. He was alive for good two minutes."

Brandon Woodard was an aspiring rapper, reported NY1, with a criminal record that includes cocaine possession and hit and run charges.

His father told reporters that he wanted to be a lawyer and was attending law school.

Detectives believe the gunman may have been waiting for his target for as long as 40 minutes.

He was wearing a dark coat with a dark hood and combat trousers, and escaped in a light grey or silver Lincoln sedan.