NEW YORK – Someone wanted Brandon Lincoln Woodard dead -- bad enough to track him down on a midtown Manhattan sidewalk and shoot him in the head in what looked like a professional killing.
But who killed Woodard and why remained a mystery Tuesday as police released security camera footage of the unidentified gunman and delved into Woodard's past for clues.
The slaying "was not a random thing as far as we can tell," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Seeking the public's help in identifying the shooter, the New York Police Department circulated footage indicating he knew Woodard was in the area -- and was waiting for the 31-year-old from Los Angeles.
It shows the gunman, who appears to be bald and have a beard, exit the passenger side of a parked Lincoln sedan about 10 minutes before Monday's shooting. He can be seen pulling the hood of his jacket over his head before approaching Woodard. A separate photo shows the gunman reaching into his pocket for a pistol moments before he shot his victim in the back of the head.
The killing occurred near a corner of Central Park, an area often teaming with tourists, shoppers and traffic. After the gunfire, the shooter slipped into the same Lincoln sedan and was driven away. No one else was harmed.
Authorities in Los Angeles and Las Vegas confirmed that Woodard had a police history in both places.
Woodard had been due back in court on Jan. 22 following his arrest by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in April on a felony cocaine possession charge. He had previously pleaded not guilty.
Court records show that in December 2009, Woodard pleaded no contest in a Los Angeles suburb to a misdemeanor charge of hit-and-run driving. He was sentenced to three years of probation and a day in jail.
In 2008, he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges of grand theft of property. He was sentenced to nine days of jail and 200 hours of community service.
Woodard also was issued a misdemeanor battery summons in September 2004 after a backstage scuffle with a security officer at a concert at the Mandalay Bay resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The records show Woodard failed to appear in court. He was arrested on the ensuing warrant in April 2008. After pleading guilty, he was given credit for time served and released.