A brazen shooting in NYC today left Brandon Lincoln Woodard, 31, dead and onlookers stunned. According to police, as Brandon -- who just checked out of the $850-per night 6 Columbus hotel -- was walking down 58th Street in Midtown Manhattan texting on one of his three cell phones, the gunman walked up behind him, pulled out a semi-automatic silver pistol and fired a single shot into the back of his head. He was pronounced dead on arrival to a local hospital. The gunman, according to eyewitness was like a ghost -- no one saw him. However, police say the gunman got into the passenger seat of an awaiting grey Lincoln MKZ and drove off. It's unknown why Brandon, who's from Los Angeles but was living in Chicago, was in NYC. However, back in September 2004 he accused one of R&B singer Usher's bodyguards of assault. According to reports, was attending the singer's concert at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas then, he and his friends went backstage (they had VIP access). Back then he told a TV station: "I'm going to the bathroom and a black guy comes up to me and puts his hand on my back immediately and starts pushing me and he's asking me questions. I said, 'Get your hands off me,' and then he replied, 'What?', used the 'N' word and then pulled my pants so far up my backside that it bled." He claimed to have suffered a busted lips and bruises to his neck, back and chest. But and however, he -- not the guards -- was arrested by police and charged with battery. He then threatened to sue Usher "his company, his corporation, or his tour." It's unclear what became of that. But, now he's dead.
Sidebar: Brandon's father told a NYC newspaper, his son was an aspiring rapper and a law student. He was arrested at least 20 times since 2004 on charges of cocaine possession, robbery, grand theft and hit-and-run. He leaves behind a 4-year-old daughter.
UPDATE, Dec. 11: Here's chilling video of the shooter.
Update #2: Investigators believe Brandon might have been a drug mule and are examining whether the broad daylight hit was the result of him beating someone out of their money.
Here's a photo of the hit man approaching Brandon, moments before the shooting.
Update 3#: In an interesting twist, Roger Friedman is reporting that Brandon and his mother, Sandra McBeth Reynolds, are scam artists. According to Tonya Pinkins (she's the baby mama of Brandon's mother husband) Sandra is a "black collar criminal" and she has "a mound of paperwork" with Brandon Woodard’s name on it created by his mother regarding various loans and mortgages. Tonya says Sandra, who owned a mortgage company and have been found guilty of several counts of theft of property, “would sell properties to Brandon and then he would default on them....The number of people they burned, and people who lost their homes, is huge. Their enemies list is huge.” The plot thickens. To get the full tea on Sandra's criminal history, go here.
source: WNBC | ContactMusic | Showbiz411