MIDTOWN — A screen grab from chilling surveillance footage shows a cold-blooded killer stalking a California man with gun in hand moments before he executed the victim on a Midtown street, police said.
Before Monday's brazen daylight murder, the alleged shooter and an accomplice calmly parked their getaway car on West 58th Street and waited a full 10 minutes for the victim, Brandon Lincoln Woodard, to pass by, cops said.
Then about 2 p.m. the gunman walked up behind Woodard as he was texting on his phone and fired off a single shot, leaving the 31-year-old father from Los Angeles, crumpled near St. Thomas Choir School, between Broadway and Seventh Avenue, according to the NYPD.
Woodard, who has a 4-year-old daughter, was rushed to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center and pronounced dead.
As of Tuesday, police were still hunting the killer who appeared chillingly calm during the incident in surveillance footage released by police.
Cops said that he did not say a word before he pulled the trigger.
According to police, the suspected gunman got out of the passenger's side of the gray or silver Lincoln sedan under some scaffolding where he laid in wait for the victim.
It appeared the suspect was waiting in the vehicle "for a period of time," Police Comissioner Raymond Kelly said at a news conference Tuesday. Kelly added that the assailant entered and exited the vehicle sevaral times before the shooting.
After shooting Woodard, he stepped back into the waiting sedan and drove east down 58th and south on Seventh Avenue.
Ballistics tests showed that the 9mm gun was the same one used in a Nov. 2009 incident where an assailant fired 12 rounds at a Mangin Ave. home in southeast Queens, said Paul Browne, the NYPD's chief spokesman. No arrests were made or injuries sustained in that incident, Browne said.
Cops identified a vehicle fitting the same description going through the Midtown tunnel at around 2;15 p.m. Monday, Kelly said. Police have a license plate connected with that vehicle, he added.
The gunman appeared to be bald, and may have a beard, wore a black hooded jacket and khaki pants.
Cops still don't know what prompted the killing.
According to witnesses, there wasn't anyone on the same side of the street as the victim and the alleged assassin when the shooting occurred.
Family and cops said Woodard, a former law student, was visiting New York from Los Angeles.
He had several prior arrests in the Los Angeles including one for cocaine possession this year, a robbery and a hit-and-run, sources said.
An alumnus of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, he received a degree in business administration in 2003. He had also attended Whittier Law School in 2010 and 2011.
"His parents are in the law," Desiree Sirias, with whom Woodard has a 4-year-old daughter, said from California. "It was an inspiration for him."
Sirias said she and Woodard's family were devastated by his death.
"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.
The older Woodard he hadn't spoken to 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."