Murder in Midtown leads cops to SE Qns

Surveillance footage shows Brandon Lincoln Woodard checking his cellphone moments before the gunman, approaching from behind, shoots him in the back of the head. Image courtesy NYPD
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The investigation into a broad daylight assassination in Manhattan earlier this month has led authorities across the river to Queens in search of answers, according to police and multiple reports.

Los Angeles law student and hip-hop promoter Brandon Lincoln Woodard, 31, was walking down a sidewalk near Manhattan’s Columbus Circle at about 2 p.m. Dec. 10 when he was shot point blank in the back of the head by a man who then walked to a getaway car, according to NYPD.

That left the island via the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, according to the New York Post, and police soon followed, locating the rented silver-gray Lincoln MKX in Rosedale.

Police have made no arrests in either the Columbus Circle shooting nor the assault rifle murder as of press time Tuesday.

Sources told the Post that a woman may have rented the car for the killer and his accomplice.

Just afterward, police took into custody a 40-year-old Rosedale man who might be a friend of someone involved in the hit, sources told the Post.

But the Queens connections do not stop there.

A cellphone being tracked as part of the investigation has also been tied to the summer’s bloodiest shooting, sources told the Post.

That incident occurred July 7, when three men were killed and one was wounded in an early morning ambush involving an assault rifle, according to police and reports.

Across the street from Springfield Gardens High School at about 5 a.m., three men in a Jeep Cherokee were torn apart in a hail of gunfire, police said, and a fourth was injured.

Neighbors described the scene as gruesome, as crowds stood out all day while police combed the crime scene for clues and took away the bodies. One man, referring to the number of empty shell casings glimmering on 144th Street, told TimesLedger Newspapers, “It looked like a piggy bank busted open.”

Early reports suggested that the carload of people may have had an altercation with someone at a Brooklyn location before the killing, but one of the men killed, Queens’ James Bussereth, 33, may also have been murdered in retaliation of a $1 million robbery, the Post reported at the time.

Investigators in this month’s shooting have also tied the 9 mm gun used to shoot Woodard in the back of the head to an incident that occurred in Queens Nov. 29, 2009, according to the NYPD.

On that day, two men pumped a total of 12 rounds into a St. Albans home near the corner of Mangin Avenue and Hannibal Street, according to police.

Woodard is the father of a 4-year-old girl and has an extensive rap sheet, according to the Post, which also reported that Woodard may have been lured by text message to the spot where he was shot.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Posted 8:07 pm, December 19, 2012
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