A Brooklyn man who is believed to have brutally gunned down an ex-girlfriend outside the Resorts World Casino in Jamaica telephoned her relative to say he was "going out hard" just before he went to his death in a shootout with police in Brooklyn, a top NYPD official said Tuesday.

Dalton Branch, a hulking 51-year-old ex-con, was hit numerous times by police gunfire after he opened fire on cops who were searching for him after he shot and killed Patricia Mohammed, 55, in the parking lot of the casino early Tuesday morning, police said.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters that the bloody chain of events began about 2:20 a.m. in the casino parking lot when Branch pulled up in a white Dodge Charger and fired one shot at Mohammed as she was talking with a man. The man started to run away as Mohammed got into her car, apparently to flee or shield herself.

Branch then got out of his car, went up to Mohammed, an immigrant from Trinidad, and fired a .380-caliber Beretta handgun three times, striking her each time, Boyce said.

After Branch fired again at Mohammed, with whom he once had a relationship, he got back into his car. Branch then began driving around the parking lot looking for the fleeing man, who Boyce said wasn't a current boyfriend of the dead woman. Branch missed his intended target, who was his former supervisor at the Trans Express Bus Co., who then immediately called police, according to Boyce. Mohammed had also worked for a time at the bus company, Boyce said.

"At different points during the night he [Branch] texts this individual, his old boss, taunting him, calling himself the 'grim reaper,' " Boyce said.

Shortly before 5 a.m., cops tracked Branch to the area in the 800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York, about two blocks from where he grew up and 3 miles from the casino.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"He made statements he was going out hard" in a call to a relative of Mohammed, Boyce said.

According to a preliminary investigation of the Brooklyn shooting scene, Branch began firing from inside his vehicle, then stepped out to continue shooting, Boyce said.

Cops returned fire and investigators think three officers from the Queens warrant squad, none of whom had prior shooting incidents, fired a total of between 20 and 30 rounds. Boyce said that in the resulting firefight Branch's body sustained 15 bullet holes, some of which may indicate in-and-out travel by one round. None of the officers were hit, police said.

A woman answering the telephone at Trans Express' offices said she was unaware of the shooting.