View attachment 30617 The law student assassinated on a busy New York City street worked as a drug courier and was assassinated after a large sum of money he was carrying was confiscated by police in California, it was claimed on Thursday.
Brandon Woodard, 31, reportedly flew to New York from his home in Los Angeles to try to smooth things over with his angry bosses. Instead, he was coldly executed in Midtown Manhattan in broad daylight on Monday.
New York police say they are closing in on the men responsible for Woodard's death. They have identified the getaway driver and detectives currently searching for him.
Victim: Brandon Woodard was said to have been trying to turn around a life of crime after being arrested on a number of charges and was studying law
The New York Daily News reports that Woodard had been carrying tens of thousands of dollars that was meant for drug dealers New York. Somehow, the cash was confiscated by police in California and the dealers still wanted their money.
Police sources told the newspaper that Woodard may have sent a package from California to his associates in Queens, New York. It's unknown whether the package contained cash, but if it did, it evidently was not enough to satisfy his angry bosses.
Woodard, 31, was the son of wealthy businesswoman and traveled in elite circles in his native Los Angeles.
He attended top private schools, drove a Land Rover and partied with professional athletes and movie stars - reportedly getting into a scuffle with Usher's bodyguards once.
Despite his pedigree, Woodard also had a dark side. He has been arrested 20 times - including for robbery and cocaine possession - and friends called him 'Batman' because they were never sure what was really going on in his life.
Detectives have identified drugs as a possible motive in the killing.
Woodard's murder shocked the city for its cold, calculated efficiency. Surveillance footage released by the NYPD shows the gunman walking up behind Woodard and shooting him once him the back of the head.
View attachment 30618 A source told the Post that Woodard could have been lured to the spot by a text message or a phone call.
He is believed to have walked past the getaway car on West 58th Street and the driver pointed him out to the gunman, the source said.
The victim then reversed direction and walked back towards his assailant after receiving a text message or call, and the shooter then crept behind him, the source said.
The shooter didn't pause or panic as he turned and left Woodward to die in a pool of his own blood - he simply got into a waiting Lincoln MKX getaway car and fled the scene.
Police found the car, which was a rental, in Queens on Wednesday and talked to the couple who had rented it.
The Post reports that detectives don't believe the two were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, but may have loaned it to the assassins.
Woodard grew up in privilege in Los Angeles. His mother, Sandra Wellington owns the once-successful United International Mortgage. Other family members are well-connected lawyers and entrepreneurs, the New York Times reports.
Mrs Wellington is married to the ex-boyfriend of former soap star Tonya Pinkins, who claims the family is involved in criminal business dealings.
Ms Pinkins, who starred in 'All My Child' and won a Tony award for 'Jelly's Last Jam,' says the murder could be connected to Mrs Wellington, according to Showbiz 411.
Woodard claims he was once involved in a scuffle with Usher's bodyguards
Woodard's mother has been involved in a long-running dispute with soap star Tonya Pinkins
View attachment 30619 Star power: [Pic: Usher] Woodard once claimed he was involved in a scuffle with Usher's bodyguards. His mother, Sandra Wellington has been in a long-running dispute with Tonya Pinkins who starred in 'All My Children'
'We’ve been waiting for something like this,' she told the gossip site.
Pinkins has been involved in a long-running dispute with Mrs Wellington and her husband Rod, the father of Ms Pinkins' daughter.
Police on Tuesday refused to comment on whether they are investigating Woodard's mother's business in connection with the shooting.
Ms Wellington could not be reached for comment on the allegations Wednesday night.
Woodard attended the private Campbell Hall high school, where he was a star basketball player.
He was a member of the exclusive invitation-only Jack and Jill of America society, which caters to upper-class black families.
For college, he went to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, a $55,000-per-year private school.
Family members say he was a second-year law student at the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, another private school.
In college, he drove a Range Rover, friends told the Times.
More recently, he had his eye on buying a Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG, a luxury car with a base price of $153,000.
Friends say he worked as a party and nightclub promoter.
At clubs he threw around large chunks of money on expensive booze and private tables - partying with actors and athletes.
Sadet Kolo, 36, who was skateboarding near the victim told the New York Daily News: 'It came out of nowhere. 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"
Intent: The gunman is seen in khaki pants and a dark top loitering next to the grey car as he waits for his victim to come walking down the street
Woodards neighbors often complained about the noise from his raucous parties.
However, beneath the seemingly charmed life, friends say, Woodard has a darker side. He continued to party hard into his 30s, even as his friends began to settle down. Woodard also has a five-year-old daughter.
Woodard also had a lengthy criminal record - at least 20 arrests.
He was busted several times for stealing from upscale grocery stores - including in 2009 when he was arrested for robbery after struggling with a guard.
He also had cocaine arrests.
In the summer, Mrs Wellington's company, United International Mortgage, had its lending power revoked by California regulators. The company is also the target of numerous lawsuits alleging fraud and breach of contract.
Friends say Woodard had a girlfriend in New York, but no one knows why he was visiting the city.
One friend told the Times, 'He lived a little Batman-ish - a little secretive.'
Thursday December 27th 2012.
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