A video depicting a “Midtown execution” is the second disturbing death clip to hit the web this month centering on unimaginable violence in Manhattan, and authorities are scrambling to decipher clues left in the now-viral clip’s 30-second depiction of the murder of 31-year-old Brandon Woodard.
The Midtown execution video is chilling, not solely due to its silence and eerily normal scene from a dreary winter everyday in Manhattan. But what makes the clip different is how we all know it will end — with a fatal gunshot to the head, killing Woodard as his shooter slips casually back into a vehicle and drives off after the Monday afternoon murder.
In a profile of the Midtown execution mystery and the video’s reach, the New York Times described a young man with many advantages who seemed to take a sharp wrong turn — noting that the question of who might want the victim dead lingers even as the clip horrifies viewers across the internet:
“[Brandon] Woodard, 31, was the scion of a successful family in California. His life had been a blend of achievement and puzzling setbacks that included at least 20 arrests, mostly in California, the police said… His relatives were entrepreneurs, lawyers and trailblazers; his grandfather, Leonard Woods, was a celebrated drag racer. His mother, Sandra Wellington, ran a once-successful mortgage business, and sent him to private Episcopal schools in Los Angeles and North Hollywood.”
Just a day and a half before the shocking Midtown execution clip was captured on a security camera, Woodard hosted friends at his home to view the Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, commenting in a final Facebook status update that the “fix was in” after the match’s surprise knockout.
Woodard’s mom, Sandra Wellington, tells the Times that the family is as stumped about her son’s murder as cops seem to be — she says:
“I don’t know what happened… We don’t know why anyone would harm him. We have no idea. He didn’t have any enemies. Not one. He liked to tell jokes. He liked to have his friends over to entertain.”
NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly spoke about the Midtown execution video and the terrifyingly blase attitude of Woodard’s killer in the clip. Kelly says it is not clear whether bravado or poor planning is responsible for the now widely-viewed clip:
“It was very brazen… There were a lot of people in that general area. Obviously, a lot of cameras in New York City. So you could characterize it as either being brazen or being foolhardy. We’ll see.”
Below is the Midtown execution video, which police hope will lead to the arrest of Brandon Woodard’s assailant — the clip is graphic, and viewers should be aware that it show’s the moments leading up to the murder.