A Los Angeles community is in shock after a young woman was randomly stabbed to death at her job.
Police say Brianna Kupfer, 24, was working alone at the furniture store Croft House in Hancock Park on 13 January when a man wandered into the shop, killed her, and left.
“Detectives have determined the suspect was not known to the victim and was a random walk-in to the store,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. “The suspect attacked the victim with a knife and fled the scene through the back door. There is no known motive at this time.”
Police say they were alerted to the incident by a Croft House customer, who came into the store about 20 minutes after the attack and was shocked to find Ms Kupfer’s body. By that time, the LAPD says, Ms Kupfer was already dead.
“It’s terrifying. It’s horrible,” Dr Jennifer Botelho, who owns a chiropractor’s office next door, told CBS Los Angeles. “She’s such a young girl … We feel so horrible for Brianna’s family, and hope we can catch this guy.”
According to the LAPD, the suspect is likely a homeless person.
“The suspect is described as a male Black, unknown age, tall, thin, wearing a dark hoody, sunglasses, a white N-95 mask, dark skinny jeans, dark shoes and carrying a dark back pack,” the department said.
Ms Kupfer’s grieving father Todd Kupfer told the network she was “loved by all.”
The young woman had been studying at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was earning her graduate degree in architectural design. In her spare time, she worked as a design consultant at Croft House.
“I was just hoping to visit the store, and can’t believe the news,” Lisa Finkenstaedt, an interior designer who frequently worked with Croft House, told Fox 11. “It’s so terrible, it’s so upsetting. I’ve emailed with her a few times. She’s a good salesperson.”
On Friday, a makeshift memorial of flowers and photographs was growing outside Croft House.
“The world has been robbed of a productive member of society – who glowed with positivity,” friends of Ms Kupfer told CBS.
Speaking to Fox News on Monday, Mr Kupfer hit out at politicians for failing to curb surging crime in the city.
“Crime is truly spiking, and we have a lot of criminals on the streets that should not be out,” he said
“We have a lot of politicians that somehow forgot about people and think the key to getting elected is to support the lowest rung of our society and to give them rights and somehow that’s the answer to getting votes.”
The LAPD has asked anyone with information on the murder or the suspect to contact homicide investigators at (213) 382-9470, or at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 on weekends. Tipsters who wish to remain anonymous can call 800-222-TIPS.
A $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest was announced on Monday.
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