NEW YORK (AP) — A man was shot in the back of the head on Monday in a densely populated area of midtown Manhattan, popular with tourists, and lay mortally wounded in a pool of blood as his killer escaped with a getaway driver, police said.
The shooting occurred Monday afternoon outside a boarding school on a fairly quiet street between busy avenues teeming with tourists and Christmas shoppers, just blocks away from Central Park and Columbus Circle.
New York City police identified the victim as 31-year-old Brandon Lincoln Woodard, of Los Angeles.
Woodward was walking west on 58th Street around 2 p.m., when the gunman, wearing a dark coat with a dark hood and khaki pants, came up behind him and fired what appeared to be a silver semi-automatic pistol, striking him once, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said.
It's believed that the shooter and the getaway driver may have been in the neighborhood for some time. They escaped in a light grey or silver Lincoln sedan.
There was no known connection to the school, Browne said.
None of the 38 boys studying at the school witnessed the shooting because they were at a church rehearsing, said Allie Roma, a receptionist at the Saint Thomas Choir School.
"We didn't hear the gunshots, but we saw the flashing lights," Roma said by telephone.
Roma said to her it appeared the man had been shot in the face.
Witness Jose Villafane, working security across the street from the school, said he didn't notice anything until he heard what sounded like a firecracker or a car backfiring. Villafane, of Brooklyn, said he then saw the wounded man on the ground with blood on his face.
Another man, an onlooker, banged on the door of a nearby fire station, seeking help. A woman who ran down the street appeared to get into the ambulance with the victim, Villafane said.
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Associated Press writer Jim Fitzgerald contributed to this report.