Officers shot and killed a man in the parking lot of a Brooklyn elementary school Tuesday morning, hours after police say he allegedly killed an ex-girlfriend in a casino parking lot and then sent taunting messages to her family where he called himself "The Grim Reaper."
Three officers traded fire with the man in a parking lot off of Pennsylvania and Stanley avenues in East New York at about 6 a.m., according to the NYPD.
The man, identified by police as 51-year-old Dalton Branch, was eventually hit and taken to Brookdale Hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, police say. Authorities recovered a .380-caliber handgun, which was cocked, an extra magazine and an empty ammo box.
Authorities say Branch was killed about three hours after he shot and killed 55-year-old Patricia Mohammed and fired on another man in the parking lot of the Resorts World Casino in Queens.
Police say that the woman and the man, 51, were in the parking lot when the suspect pulled up in a sedan and opened fire. The woman was hit several times in the body, while the man was uninjured. The suspect left in his car, which was traced to the lot in East New York.
Police say that after the shooting, Branch sent taunting messages to the man who survived the shooting where he called himself the "grim reaper."
He also sent similar messages to Mohammed's aunt and added that he wasn't going to go quietly, police say.
"He told me that I should prepare myself to bury my niece," the aunt, Rosemary Guilford, told NBC 4 New York.
And in another twisted text message after the attack, he said, according to Guilford: "'I gave it to her good. She's dead. Prepare yourself, I could come blow your house down.'"
Police say the woman who was killed worked at the casino. Branch may have worked there in the past as well.
Guilford said Branch couldn't move on after he and Mohammed broke up: "A broken relationship, and one person can't deal with it and he decided this is how it's going to play out."
Mohammed was a "beautiful human being" and "everybody loved her," her aunt said.
"She loved people," said Guilford. "She's generous. She's kind. She's everything."