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The Los Angeles Police Department have identified the suspect who stabbed 24-year-old UCLA grad student Brianna Kupfer to death last Thursday.
Shawn Laval Smith, 31, is on the run and is considered “armed and dangerous,” per the LAPD’s statement to the Daily Mail.
“He is highly likely to be using public transportation. Special attention should be given to bus stops and train platforms,” the LAPD said.
Kupfer was working alone at the Croft House luxury furniture store at about 1:50 p.m. on La Brea Ave in Los Angeles when she texted a friend that a shopper was “giving her a bad vibe.” Kupfer was slain shortly thereafter.
“She sent a text to a friend letting her know that there was someone inside the location that was giving her a bad vibe,” LAPD Lt. John Radtke said, via FOX News. “Regrettably, that person did not see the text immediately.”
Smith was captured on video buying a vape pen from a 7-Eleven just 30 minutes after Kupfer was murdered. The Daily Mail reports that Smith is a career criminal with a long rap sheet.
He is currently free on a $1,000 bond from a misdemeanor arrest in Los Angeles County in October 2020. Smith was arrested for possession of stolen property. He’s also free on a $50,000 bond in Charleston, South Carolina on suspicion of firing a weapon into an occupied vehicle.
Todd Kupfer, Brianna’s father, told FOX News that his daughter wasn’t supposed to be working that day.
“You can question everything, you can spend your nights with all the ‘what ifs’… but it doesn’t change anything,” Todd Kupfer said. “[Brianna was] a dedicated person. She was at work that day. I don’t know why she was there alone, but she was. I don’t think anybody would have anticipated that this could possibly happen there.
“I don’t think anybody is to blame other than the assailant — the awful person that did this to my daughter.”
The LAPD has issued a $250,000 reward for information leading to Smith’s arrest. He was last seen wearing a dark hoodie sweatshirt, dark pants, black tennis shoes, mirrored sunglasses and carrying a black backpack. The LAPD is urging anyone with information on his whereabouts to call police at 213-382-9470.