MIDTOWN — The father of the 31-year-old California man who was executed on a Midtown street Monday is struggling to comprehend what happened to his son as police search for the brazen assassin who gunned him down without saying a word.
"This is the worst thing that a parent can experience: the death of a child. It’s almost like it’s unreal," Jesse Lincoln Woodard said from his Maryland home.
His son, Brandon Lincoln Woodard was texting while walking down West 58th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue at about 2 p.m. when a man came from behind and shot him in the back of the head with a semiautomatic gun, police said.
The shooter pulled up to the south side of the street and exited the passenger side under some scaffolding where he waited until Woodard passed by 10 minutes later, police said.
After shooting Woodard, the cold-blooded gunman, who wore khaki pants, a dark jacket with a hood, leapt into a waiting a grey or silver Lincoln MKZ before speeding off and cops are still stumped about the motivation behind the shooting.
"I’m trying to figure how I can help identify the killer," the grieving father said. "It’s troublesome to me that no one was able to see anything that they can report."
Woodard had multiple arrests in the Los Angeles area including one in June for cocaine possession in Beverly Hills, according to sources. He was also arrested in 2008 robbing a Whole Foods and again the next year for a hit-and-run in Hermosa Beach, the sources added.
And Woodard was reportedly involved in an altercation with one of Usher's bodyguards in Las Vegas in 2004 after getting backstage access.
The older Woodard said he hadn't spoke with his son in 14 years, but was still devastated by his death.
"I’m kind of shocked, right now, by this whole thing," he said. "I figure if I had done a little more to be involved with him, I could have avoided some of this stuff.
"He was a kind, loving child," Woodard added. "He was a fine young fellow."
Woodard graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2003 with a BA in business administration, according to a spokeswoman from the school. He also attended Whittier Law School from the fall of 2010 through the spring of 2011, a spokeswoman of that school said.
"His parents are in the law," said Desiree Sirias, with whom Woodard has a 4-year-old daughter. "It was an inspiration for him."
Nothing seemed amiss in Woodard's life that could point to a motive for the brazen murder, Sirias said.
"There wasn’t anything strange. It was just something that happened," she said.
After the horrific shooting, Woodard's friends were trying to come to grips with the incident.
“RIP to my little brother Brandon Woodard. Heartbroken. Executed on the streets of NYC I can't even believe it. So many good memories. I'm sorry your day had to come like this,” Sean Douglas Ward tweeted early Tuesday morning.
"Damn I lost a good friend today because of a terrible act of violence. I'm in shock right now. R.I.P. 'Woodard," Jarrett Meilleur posted on Facebook Monday.