UCLA graduate’s killer identified; Reward of $250K offered for info leading to arrest

4 month ago

Los Angeles news, California news.

Moments before she was stabbed to death, UCLA graduate Brianna Kupfer had texted a friend about a man that just entered the furniture store where she worked and that was giving her “a bad vibe.”

The body of the 24-year-old architectural designer student was shortly later found in a pool of her blood Thursday afternoon. Police said that the attack was completely random and unprovoked.

“At 1:36 p.m. in the afternoon, Brianna was working in this store all by herself. She sent a text to a friend letting her know that there was someone inside the location that was giving her 'a bad vibe,'” Lt. John Radtke said.

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  • “Regrettably, that person did not see the text immediately and at 1:50 p.m., a citizen who was coming into the store, a customer, found Brianna lying on the ground lifeless, covered in blood.”

    Brianna’s killer was minutes later caught on surveillance footage from a nearby 7-11 and walking around the murder scene. He was identified Wednesday as 31-year-old Shawn Laval Smith and described as “armed and dangerous.”

    “[Smith] walked for miles, both north, south, east, and west throughout this neighborhood," Radtke added. “Someone out there knows this man…you need to come forward.”

    Authorities have raised a reward of $250,000 to anyone with information that leads to the suspect’s arrest. Tips can be submitted to the LAPD 24/7 at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).