Brianna Kupfer murder: Los Angeles police identify suspected killer as Shawn Laval Smith

Police say suspect is armed and dangerous

Maroosha Muzaffar
Wednesday 19 January 2022 20:18 GMT
Police have released new images of the suspect in the Brianna Kupfer murder inquiry
Police have released new images of the suspect in the Brianna Kupfer murder inquiry (LAPD)
Leer en Español

Police have identified a man they believe to be the killer of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer.

The Los Angeles Police Department said that the suspect, Shawn Laval Smith, 31, should be considered armed and dangerous.

Kupfer was a UCLA grad student who was stabbed to death last week while working in her job at a furniture store.

Kupfer was the only employee at the store, Croft House on La Brea Avenue when Mr Smith entered the store and stabbed her.

The LAPD said that anyone who sees the suspect should not approach him and call 911 immediately.

Todd Kupfer, the father of the victim, told CBS Los Angeles: “I don’t see us healing anytime soon. I would love to tell you that there’s going to be a point we’re going to be better, but I feel like it’s going to be a big missing piece.”

On Tuesday, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz urged other city leaders to add $50,000 more to the $200,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the suspect.

He said: “We will find this vicious criminal, we will arrest him and we will get him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“But we must fight for justice for her even though nothing will bring her back. Our mission and my objective is that the perpetrator that took away Brianna from her beloved parents, colleagues, friends and our community will be permanently locked away, constantly reminded of his horrible, ugly and senseless murder of an innocent young woman who had endless potential,” Mr Koretz added.

LAPD Lt John Radtke told the media on Tuesday that Kupfer had texted her friend to say that a man was making her uncomfortable. He said: “She sent a text to a friend letting her know that there was someone inside the location that was giving her a bad vibe.”

Mr Radtke said that Kupfer’s friend didn’t see the text immediately.

Meanwhile, Mr Smith has been spotted in numerous locations around Southern California – including Pasadena, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Covina and San Diego, police said.

Los Angeles County Jail records show that Mr Smith was arrested on 27 October 2020 by Covina Police on a misdemeanour charge and was later released on a $1,000 bail.

Police said that Mr Smith is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 190 pounds.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in