A violent New York felon who called himself the “Grim Reaper” gunned down his ex-girlfriend in the parking lot of a Queens casino, apparently infuriated that she was in a relationship with a new man.
Dalton Branch, 51, was later fatally shot by NYPD officers in a wild shootout in Brooklyn, the New York Daily News reports.
Patricia “Patsy” Mohamed, 55, was killed in the casino parking lot shooting. Her new boyfriend, whose name hasn’t been released, avoided shots that were fired his direction by Branch.
Branch used to work for the bus company that operates at the casino, and Mohamed’s current boyfriend is a supervisor there, according to the Daily News. She was a retired home healthcare worker with an adult daughter.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Branch Shot Mohamed as She Sat in Her Car
Police said Mohamed was sitting behind the wheel of her car in the Resorts World parking lot, talking to her boyfriend, when Branch drove up and opened fire on them, according to the New York Times.
Police, responding to several 911 calls at about 2:20 a.m., found Mohamed slumped over the steering wheel with several gunshot wounds to her torso. She was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead there.
About three hours later, officers spotted Branch’s white Dodge sedan in Brooklyn. As officers approached his car, police said Branch pulled a gun and fired at them. Three officers returned fire and struck Branch several times. He died at a hospital.
Police recovered a .380 handgun that they said was used in both shootings.
2. He Taunted the Victim’s Aunt in Phone Calls After the Shooting
The New York Daily News reports that Branch called Mohamed’s elderly aunt about 30 minutes after killing her in the casino lot.
“He told me that I should prepare myself to bury my niece,” the aunt told the Daily News “And then he called back at 3 a.m. He told me, ‘I gave it to her good. She’s dead, so prepare yourself. And I could come and burn your house down.’ I couldn’t say anything. What was I going to say? … He was a very brutal type of guy.”
In other calls he confessed to the shooting and referred to himself as the “Grim Reaper,” the newspaper reports.
Relatives of Mohamed said Branch was a “controlling” boyfriend.
“He was a jealous, controlling person,” George Guilford, the victim’s uncle told the newspaper. “If she goes anywhere, he wanted to be there. She was a happy-go-lucky person.”
3. The Woman’s Current Boyfriend Was Also Sent a Message After She Was Killed
Mohamed’s current boyfriend, who escaped the casino shooting with his life, told the Daily News he received an explicit text message from Branch after the shooting.
“How you like that p—- now?” Branch asked in the text message.
4. Branch Told Relatives He Didn’t Want to Go Back to Prison
One of Branch’s relatives told police he called him after the shooting and said, “I love you. I did it. I’m not going back to jail,” the Daily News reports.
The relative, Eric Woodruff, told the newspaper, “I expected it. We were just joking yesterday, and he snapped. He left with a smile. He was grinning.”
Branch has a lengthy criminal record, dating back to the 1980s, according to the Daily News.
He was in prison from 1983 to 1986 for robbery, and from 2003 to 2006 for another weapons charge.
Police sources tell the New York Post that Branch also was arrested on an attempted murder charge in 1989 in a now-sealed case, and was last arrested in 2012 on a criminal mischief charge. That case is also sealed, according to the Post.
The Daily News said Branch told the parole board in 2005, “”I’m retiring this number. Whenever you decide to let me go, I’m retiring it. I’m nervous and scared and shaking just sitting here and talking to you. I don’t want to go through this again.”
His parole ended in 2007, the newspaper reports.
5. He Was Shot by Police Twice During 2 Other Incidents Decades Ago
Branch has been shot by police twice before. The Daily News reports that Branch was shot by police in 1983 after robbing a couple at a New York City shopping center.
He was also shot in 1997 after grabbing an officer’s gun, according to the New York Post.