MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 32-year-old Minneapolis man is accusing of ambushing a father and killing him in front of his children late last month, according to charges filed in Hennepin County.

James Andre Woodard faces one felony count of second-degree murder with intent but not premeditated in connection to the July 28 incident.

james woodard Charges: Father Ambushed & Murdered In Front Of Children

James Woodard (credit: Hennepin Co. Sheriff)

According to the criminal complaint, officers were dispatched on the day of the incident at 8:42 p.m. to investigate a shooting at a multi-unit housing complex at 1621 Plymouth Avenue North.

When they arrived, officers found an adult male victim lying on the pavement in the back alley parking area. He had a single gunshot wound to his head and died from the injury.

Video surveillance from the building captured the incident from multiple angles. Police say prior to the shooting the video shows a suspect, later identified as Woodard, moving to a concealed area across the alley from where the shooting took place.

A second suspect is seen walking from the parking area to the concealed area and appeared to converse with the suspect.

The victim arrived via the alley and parked in one of the parking spaces. He exited the vehicle, was greeted by his children and they walked east toward the suspect’s concealed position.

According to the complaint, the second suspect then appeared to signal Woodard, who then left his concealed position, removed a handgun from his waist and ran toward the victim. He then held the gun in the air directly behind the victim and fired one round into his head. Woodard then turned and fled southbound down the alley from where he first came.

The victim, shot directly in front of his children, fell to the ground where he was found by police. The victim’s children were hysterical and were eventually removed from the scene by others, according to the complaint.

Officers spoke with several witnesses who told them Woodard was the shooter, the complaint said.

Woodard turned himself in on Aug. 1 and remains in custody.

If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.


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