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Mission Valley Mall Shooting Leaves Woman Dead, Man Critical

By Clyde Hughes   |   Thursday, 26 Dec 2013 09:18 AM

Police continued to investigate an early-morning shooting at the Westfield Mission Valley mall near San Diego that left a woman dead and a man clinging to life. They were found in a parking lot outside a Macy's department store that was open late for Christmas shopping.

Authorities identified the woman as Ilona Flint, 22, and the man as Salvatore Belvedere, 22, the brother of her boyfriend, according to the San Diego Union –Tribune. Flint was pronounced dead at the scene on Monday.

KGTV reported that both had been shot in the head.

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The Union-Tribune reported on Wednesday that Flint's boyfriend, Gianni Belvedere, was missing. Police declined to comment on him or his whereabouts.

"(This is a) terrible tragedy right before the holidays," said San Diego Police homicide Lt. Mike Hastings about the shooting that occurred about 1:15 a.m. at the mall.

Authorities told the newspaper that Flint called 911 to report that she had been shot but only knew that she was near the mall. Both victims were discovered by police shortly afterward in a vehicle with Utah license plates.

The shooting happened in a parking lot near Macy's, police told the Union-Tribune. The store was open late at the time to accommodate Christmas shoppers.

Authorities said they were reviewing surveillance video at the mall and talking to witnesses. Police told the newspaper they believe the suspect was a male in his mid-20s, from 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11, wearing tan pants and a shirt.

Police said the suspect may have been driving a 2008 to 2011 Honda.

Flint, who was born in Russia, and the Belvederes have known each other since they were teenagers and both attended the Walden School of Liberal Arts in Provo, Utah. Eric Beecroft, a photo journalism teacher at the school, described Flint and Gianni Belvedere "as amazing and vibrant."

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"Ilona Flint was full of life, that is for sure," Beecroft told the Union-Tribune. He said Salvatore Belvedere left school to work at his family's Italian restaurant.

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