PACIFIC PALISADES/WESTWOOD—Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that Shawn Laval Smith, 31, was charged Friday, January 21 for killing a 24-year-old woman while she worked at a furniture store last week in Hancock Park.
“Those who show no compassion for human life will face serious consequences,” said District Attorney Gascón. “The murder of Brianna Kupfer has left Los Angeles County devastated and my office is reaching out to her family to provide any services they may need.”
Smith was charged in case BA502518 with one count of murder and a special allegation that he used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife.
Smith was taken into police custody on Wednesday, January 19, after he was reported by a tipster in Pasadena.
A $250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect was announced by the LAPD on Tuesday, January 18.
Smith was identified in connection to the murder of Kupfer, which transpired in the 300 block of North La Brea Avenue on January 13 at Croft House, a high-end furniture store. The LAPD noted at the time of the murder he should be considered armed and dangerous.
The LAPD reported around 1:50 p.m. on January 13 officers from the Wilshire Patrol responded to a radio call of an “Ambulance Assault with a Deadly Weapon” at a business. Kupfer was working by herself at the time of the incident. Officers met with the reporting party, a customer who entered the store and discovered the victim dead on the floor.
Detectives determined the suspect was not known to the victim and was a random individual who entered the establishment. The suspect attacked the victim with a knife and fled the scene through the back door. There is no known motive at this time.
The owner of the nearby chiropractic office, Dr. Jennifer Bothelo informed CBS Los Angeles that the suspect came into her establishment asked a few questions and then left.
Kupfer was studying architecture and design at UCLA. She previously attended the University of Miami before returning to California to pursue a graduate degree. Grant Janes posted the following message on the LAPD Facebook page “Good job LAPD – now you just have to find him before he kills someone else. My wife and I know Croft House well – the people there are lovely and great to work with. What an awful tragedy for this young woman and her family.”
The District Attorney’s Office continues to work with the Los Angeles Police Department to develop additional evidence in this case. If anyone has information they are asked to contact the LAPD at 213-382-9470. After hours or on weekends, call 877-LAPD-247 (877-527-3247). To remain anonymous visit http://LACrimeStoppers.org.