The street where Big L was shot dead

Crime Scene Location in Harlem, New York

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Big L shooting location

This is the location where "Big L" was murdered.

It is situated at 45 West 139th Street in Harlem, New York.

On the evening of February 15th, 1999, the 24-year-old was found dead outside this apartment complex near Malcolm X Boulevard. The rapper, whose real name was Lamont Coleman, had been shot nine times in the chest and face during an apparent drive-by shooting.

Initially, there were fears that Big L's death was a continuation of the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry that had already claimed the lives of Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace.

However, the police were quick to dismiss this theory, as the rapper typically stayed out of trouble and didn't seem to have any personal issues with anyone.

From their perspective, he was a "good kid" who focused most of his energy on making music.

Although he "talked tough" in his lyrics, that was just for show. In real life, he was reportedly humble and quiet.

Because of his trouble-free past, it took months before the authorities were able to identify a suspect or find a motive for the shooting.

In May 1999, the police announced that Big L's childhood friend, Gerard Woodley, had been arrested in connection with the crime.

In their statement, they theorized that the rapper may have been killed because of something that one of his brothers did.

Gerard Woodley
Gerard Woodley is suspected of being the gunman who murdered Big L (inset).

Woodley could not retaliate against Big L's brothers because they were both in prison at the time. As a result, he may have decided to target the up-and-coming rapper instead.

One theory is that Big L's older brother put out a hit on Woodley and two other gang members, and that the rapper assisted the gunman by pointing out who the targets were.

In early 1999, Woodley survived an attempt on his life. In the weeks leading up to this failed hit, Big L was reportedly seen in the presence of the hitman.

If this is true, then the gang may have reasoned that he was directly involved in the plot.

Another theory is that Big L was far less innocent than he is typically portrayed. A number of sources have claimed that he was a member of a gang that robbed local drug dealers. However, there is a lot of debate about the extent of his involvement.

Although the police arrested Woodley on suspicion of murder, the case was eventually dropped by the district attorney due to a lack of evidence.

During the investigation, they were unable to find surveillance footage that might implicate him in the crime. They also found it difficult to track down witnesses who were willing to testify, as many people in the neighborhood were opposed to the idea of "snitching."

As a result, Big L's murder became a cold case.

Seventeen years later, Gerard Woodley's life of crime finally caught up with him.

On the night of June 24th, 2016, he was gunned down outside of 106 West 139th Street, which is less than 250 yards away from the location where Big L was found dead.

Both cases remain unsolved to this day.

Big L death location

The address and the GPS coordinates for this location are as follows:


45 W 139th Street, Harlem, New York, NY 10037, USA


To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:

Google Maps

GPS coordinates

The latitude and longitude coordinates for the site are:

40.816131, -73.937415


It is situated roughly 150 yards east of the intersection between Malcolm X Boulevard (Lenox Avenue) and West 139th Street in the northeast of Harlem, New York.


Photos of the site and other related images.

45 West 139th Street

45 West 139th Street

This Google Street View image of 45 West 139th Street was taken in August 2021.

The police report states that Big L was shot dead at this location at around 8:30 p.m. on February 15th, 1999.

At the time of his murder, the rapper was reportedly close to signing with Roc-A-Fella Records.

Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous

Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous

The cover photograph for Big L's album "Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous" was taken on the corner of Malcolm X Boulevard (Lenox Avenue) and West 139th Street.

The corner is less than 200 yards away from the site where he was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Coordinates: 40.816666, -73.939206

Google Maps

104 West 139th Street

Gerard Woodley

Big L lived at 104 West 139th Street, which is just a couple of feet west of the corner where his album photo was taken.

Interestingly, the suspect in his murder, Gerard Woodley, was gunned down outside of 106 West 139th Street, which is right next door. Woodley is pictured in the top left-hand corner.

Coordinates: 40.816896, -73.939817

Google Maps

139th Street

139th Street Harlem

This aerial image of 139th Street puts each location into perspective. As you can see, all of these events occurred in a relatively small area.

The album was released in 1995, Big L was murdered in 1999, and Woodley was gunned down in 2016.

Due to the timeframe involved, the police do not believe that Woodley's murder was connected to Big L's shooting. At the time, he was a suspect in multiple homicides. He was also reportedly involved in the drug trade.

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This location belongs to the following categories:

Crime ScenesCelebritiesUnsolved CasesRappers

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