Man shot, killed in Dallas mall parking garage during armed robbery

Police are searching for as many as three suspects after a deadly shooting in a north Dallas mall parking garage late Thursday night.

Investigators now believe the 18-year-old victim was killed during an armed robbery.

The shooting happened at about 10 p.m., on the east side of the Central Expressway at Park Lane, across the street from NorthPark Center.

Responding officers found Joseph Pintucci slumped over in his car in the Shops of Park Lane parking garage near the entrance of Dick's Sporting Goods. The garage is used by Whole Foods Markets and customers of other stores.

Pintucci was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police said he was shot just after the mall had closed.

At this point, investigators do not believe this was a random attack.

According to a detective working this case, Pintucci and a suspect were communicating through Snapchat just before the fatal shooting. It's still unclear what they were talking about.

The victim's uncle said Pintucci planned to joini the Army when he graduated from high school later this year.

A bouquet of yellow roses now marks the spot at The Shops at Park Lane in Dallas where Pintucci was murdered.

"It's really sad, I didn't believe it when I first heard about it," said Christian Arthurton, who was one of Pintucci's former classmates.

Just hours after Pintucci was shot and killed, news of his death spread quickly among friends and former classmates.

"He was one of the sweetest people I've ever known. He was kind to not only me, but a lot of people at this school have great stories about him," Pintucci's friend, Ashby Lindsey, said. "Just a lot of memories about him were going around. It was sad, but at the same time, happy we got to call him our friend."

"It's surprising to me," one shopper said. "It bothers me."

Dallas homicide detectives spent the overnight hours processing the scene, which included towing away Pintucci's 2002 Lincoln sedan as evidence.

Police said there were witnesses, who are now being interviewed by investigators.

"I think that's shocking. I feel, as a woman, my biggest fear is something like that," shopper Selina Weber said. "Just for somebody to even have...I don't have words for it...the audacity to do something like that and take somebody's life is just beyond me."

Marisa Ortega works at the outdoor mall, and she's now worried about her safety.

"I actually work here at Old Navy, so we have to be aware of our surroundings even more now," she said. "At night, we do late shifts sometimes. So yeah, it's scary."

Pintucci was a former Highland Park High School student. A spokesman for the school district says he transferred out of the district last year.

The flowers left in the parking garage had a note that read:

“I would like that person to know that the correct punishment is coming. I hope they know they took someone really special,” Lindsey added.

Investigators said they are waiting on Snapchat records to come back to see if they can identify the gunman and any other possible suspects.

A detective also said some items were stolen, although he could not give any specifics.

Crimestoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.