(NEW YORK) — The hunt for the hit man who executed a Los Angeles man, Brandon Lincoln Woodard, in broad daylight on the edge of Central Park broadened Wednesday as NYPD detectives arrived in Los Angeles to begin drilling down into the victim’s associates, business interests and background in an effort to develop clues about the killer and his possible motives.
Even as that part of the probe into Monday’s shooting was under way, forensic tests were being performed on the crime’s apparent getaway car — an Avis rental — that was found legally parked on a street in New York City’s Queens borough, according to police officials.
The car had been rented from Avis in a suburb outside the city, police said. The vehicle was removed to a police facility in the area where forensic tests will continue.
“The investigation is moving forward, obviously, aggressively.” New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters. “There are some developments, but really I am not at liberty to say too much about it publicly. I don’t want to do anything to undermine the investigation. But it is moving forward aggressively.”
Of the very public hit in broad daylight, Kelly told reporters in New York, “You can characterize it as either being brazen or foolhardy.”
On Tuesday, the NYPD released surveillance video that showed Woodard, 31, of Playa Vista, Calif., walking down 58th Street near Columbus Circle in midtown Manhattan minutes before he was shot.
A powerful still image was also released. It showed the hit man pulling a silver-colored handgun from his pocket just before he aimed at the back of Woodard’s head and pulled the trigger.
Meanwhile, NYPD detectives are in Los Angeles working with detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division to “drill down” into Woodard’s background and examine his associates and business dealings, LAPD officials told ABC News.
Woodard’s criminal record dated back to 2004 and included arrests for alleged battery in 2011, stealing wine from a supermarket in 2009 and multiple DWIs. As recently as April of this year, he was arrested for alleged cocaine possession in West Hollywood, Calif.
Detectives also were investigating Woodard’s possible involvement in the drug trade, possibly as a “mule,” sources told ABC News on Tuesday.
Raised in the Ladera Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, Woodard played basketball at the exclusive Campbell Hall private high school and graduated from Loyola Marymount University. He was most recently enrolled in the University of West Los Angeles Law School.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Heather Kelly, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Nicole Chavez, CNN
Connie Tran, KGPE, KSEE