NYDN- He might have gotten away with three murders — but couldn’t escape his own.
A 46-year-old man once suspected of committing three homicides, including the slaying of 1990s hip-hop star Big L, was fatally shot in Harlem, officials said Friday.
Gerard Woodley was shot in the head and back during a clash in front of his home on W. 139th St. near Malcolm X Blvd. about 11:15 p.m. Thursday.
“It was three shots fired. They were back to back,” neighborhood advocate Iesha Sekou said. “They were pretty loud and I heard one scream.”
Police recovered three .25-caliber shell casings at the scene. A motive for the killing was not disclosed. Woodley had been arrested for three separate murders in the 1990s, but was never convicted, cops said.
Woodley was accused of gunning down Big L, whose real name was Lamont Coleman, outside the rapper’s Harlem home on Feb. 15, 1999. Woodley had a grudge against the rapper’s brother, officials said at the time. The case was ultimately thrown out due to a lack of evidence, officials said.
He was also arrested in January 1996 and a third time in February 1990, but wasn’t convicted in either killing, police sources said. When they broke the news to Woodley’s mother, she only had one question, police sources said.
“Where was his bodyguard?” Lavern Black asked.
Black told the Daily News she was struggling to come to accept her son’s murder.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet . . . He was a loving son,” she said, before dissolving into tears. Woodley spent five years in prison an unrelated federal gun charge shortly after Big L’s death, police sources said. He was locked up again in 2011 on a second gun possession conviction in state court and released from prison last year, according to court records. He was supposed to be on parole until 2020, officials said.
His brother, Thomas Riley, said Woodley and Big L were childhood friends. Riley suspects a Big L fan may have killed his brother, saying there’s an abundance of chatter online fingering Woodley as the rapper’s killer.
In an earlier, unrelated case Thursday, a 52-year-old man was shot to death during a Brooklyn dice game, cops said. John Morrison was shot multiple times in the back as he rolled the bones outside the Glenmore Houses in Brownsville about 10:50 p.m., police said. He died at Brookdale University Hospital.
It’s kinda crazy, just the other day I was scrolling through the TV guide channel and up came the Stretch and Bobbito documentary. For those who don’t know Stretch and Bobbito are a couple of NY hip hop radio DJ legends known for their spot as being where a lot of famous 90’s rappers got their first chance on the mic. Guys like Nas, Biggie, Eminem, Pun, and Fat Joe etc. all were on The Stretch and Bobbito show before they were signed or famous. Well among the most famous of freestyle mixes laid down on their was with the one and only Big L and a young Shawn Carter. After listening to that freestyle you kinda sit back and wonder if Big L lived, how famous he would be now a days. Guy had prolific rap verses and considering he brought Jay Z in on the freestyle, its more likely than not that Jay Z wouldn’t be the guy he was today had Big L lived to rap another day. It’s like how some people say Leo only became famous because River Phoenix died or like how Len Bias could’ve been like head to head with Jordan if he didn’t OD after the draft. Such a shame but if this guy did in fact kill Big L, I’m glad he’s dead.
p.s- I like how Big L’s parents were named Gilda Terry and Charles Davis but for some reason his last name is Coleman?