Search underway for gunman who killed security guard when caught breaking into cars at Preston Center

Dallas police are searching for the gunman who shot and killed a security guard at a popular and busy shopping center.

It happened at the Preston Center Plaza at Preston Road and Northwest Highway.

Police say shortly after 3 p.m., the security guard saw a man breaking into a car. When he confronted the man, shots were fired. 

Dallas police were focusing their investigation on the second floor of the parking garage at Preston Center Plaza. 

People who were working when the shooting say they are shocked since they consider the area to be extremely safe. 

Bruce Cameron, a former law enforcement officer, immediately recognized the sound of the gunshots.

"I was sitting in my office just down the road here, and I heard, ‘Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!’ he recalled. "I knew that was a pistol shot."

Cameron sent FOX 4 videos from his office window. 

"Once I saw the first round of first responders, second responders, the ambulance, they set up a perimeter, I knew that somebody had been shot." 

A fight happened, and a man breaking into cars shot the security guard. 

Police say the security guard, identified as 34-year-old Adalberto Santiago, was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Leah Schweitzer was working at her salon around the corner from the parking garage when it happened.

"I mean, it’s shocking. You don’t like to hear that kind of stuff," she said. "A lot of times you think, ‘This is a richer neighborhood.’ So you think you’re safe, you know." 

Libby McIver, who works at La Lobe Salon across the street from the parking garage, told FOX 4 the area is extremely safe. 

"It’s just not what you expect for around here." 

McIver’s co-worker said he heard the gunshots. 

"Our piercer, Leo, came back. He had been going to Target, and he came back and said ‘Someone got shot.’ And I’m like ‘no way,’" she said.

When she learned someone was trying to break into cars, McIver says there are high-end cars in the parking lots. 

"Think about from their point of view," she said. "A lot of high-end vehicles in this parking lot. There must be some high-end goods lurking in there. I guess that’s how that sort of person thinks." 

After retiring from law enforcement, gunshots in the Preston Center West area were the last thing Cameron expected. 

"This is the first time I’ve heard gunshots in this area, absolutely," he said. "This is just proof that it can happen anywhere." 

Dallas police say the suspect drove off in a gold Toyota Camry. There is no further description.

As of right now, police are still looking for him.