PACIFIC PALISADES/WESTWOOD—The West Bureau Homicide Detectives of the Los Angeles Police Department announced that the suspect responsible for the murder of Brianna Kupfer, 24, on January 13 has been arrested. Shawn Laval Smith, 31, was taken into police custody on Wednesday, January 19, after he was reported by a tipster in Pasadena.
Smith is responsible for the deadly stabbing, which occurred on January 13 that led to the death of Kupfer of Pacific Palisades. 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 Furniture. 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. Smith was last seen on video surveillance traveling northbound in the alley to the rear of the crime scene.
He was last seen wearing a dark hoody, sunglasses, a white N-95 mask, dark skinny jeans, dark shoes and carrying a dark back pack. Based on evidence discovered by detectives, the suspect is believed to be homeless.
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 LAPD West Bureau Homicide are still investigating the case. Anyone with details is asked to call 213-382-9470. After hours or on weekends, call 877-LAPD-247 (877-527-3247). To remain anonymous visit http://LACrimeStoppers.org.