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L.A. Law Student Fatally Shot in the Head in NYC, Cops Say It Was 'definitely a hit'

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Photo by CarbonNYC via Flickr
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Brandon Lincoln Woodard, a 31-year-old California man enrolled in University of West Los Angeles Law School, was fatally shot in the back of the head while walking in Midtown Manhattan in broad daylight yesterday afternoon on West 58th Street near 7th Avenue. According to police, his killer walked up behind him and fired a single round at close range from a silver semiautomatic pistol. He then slipped into the passenger seat of a "gray or silver auto" and was gone. “Nobody saw the guy who did it,” one witness tells the Times. “He was like a ghost.”“There was no rush,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told reporters yesterday. “He just walked up, shot him and walked away.” Another police source tells the Post that it was “definitely a hit, an assassination." One witness tells the Post, "I just heard a gunshot. It was loud. There was blood all over his face. He was gasping for air. He was still alive." Sadet Kolo, a skateboarder, tells the Daily News he tried to help Woodard. “I called 911 and told him ‘Hang on. Help is on the way.’ He was talking a little. Or trying to. He was alive for a good two minutes.” “Poor bastard. I didn’t even see a shooter."

Woodard was enrolled in the University of West Los Angeles Law School, but the Times reports that he has a criminal history of his own. In 2009, he "stole several bottles of wine from a supermarket, struggled with a security guard, fled in a car, struck two other cars, abandoned his car, hailed a cab and fled." And the News reports that he's served time on "a battery rap" after fighting with one of Usher's bodyguards at a Las Vegas concert in 2004. Woodard reportedly accused the bodyguard "of giving him a wedgie so severe that he bled."

Woodard was due in court on January 22nd in Beverly Hills on a felony cocaine possession charge. Investigators are currently looking at what role drugs may have played in his murder. Woodard leaves behind a 4-year-old girl. A friend of Woodard’s in L.A., Marali Natalia Rezaei, tells the Times, “I was just playing dominos with him two nights ago. He was bragging about his daughter."

Related: NYPD Releases Video Of Gunman Waiting To Kill Law Student In Midtown