NYPD detectives have identified one of two suspects in the point-blank hit in midtown on Monday who they believe drove the getaway car, the New York Times reports. Both he and the gunman are believed to be “low-level” criminals from Queens, who were “somehow motivated by drugs, money or both.” And they had a plan.
The victim, 31-year-old Brandon Woodard of California, might have been lured to his death by text messages, according to the New York Post, because he can be seen on surveillance footage passing his eventual assassin while on his phone before switching directions. The Times has the breakdown:
Mr. Woodard comes into the frame; he first walks by the car, a Lincoln sedan MKZ, and then passes the gunman. As Mr. Woodard crosses Seventh Avenue, heading east, the gunman walks in the opposite direction. He stops at the car and appears to lean into the passenger side to talk to the driver.
Moments later, Mr. Woodard doubles back, heading toward the killer and the getaway car. He glances at his smartphone and looks up and around, as if searching for a number on a building. The killer approaches from behind. Mr. Woodard, sensing someone at his heels, glances back. The killer turns his face away, fixing his gaze elsewhere. Mr. Woodard does not appear to recognize the gunman and continues on.
“In addition to the way he makes himself virtually invisible in the street, right as he points the gun at [Wooddard’s] head, he turns away as if he’s anticipating blood spatter,” a law-enforcement source told the Post. “In one fluid motion, it’s just ‘bam!’ into the car, then out.”