Man Accused of Random Killing of 24-Year-Old Brianna Kupfer at Furniture Store Charged with Murder
The man who allegedly killed 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer in a random attack at a luxury furniture store in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles last week has been charged.
Shawn Laval Smith, 31, was charged with one count of murder and "a special allegation that he used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife," Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced on Friday.
"Those who show no compassion for human life will face serious consequences," District Attorney Gascón said. "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."
On Jan. 13, authorities allege Smith entered the Croft House furniture store on North La Brea Avenue while Kupfer was working alone, and allegedly stabbed her to death before fleeing the scene.
Shortly before her tragic death, Kupfer messaged a friend about a man being in the store with her, writing that his presence made her uncomfortable.
"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,' " said Lt. John Radtke of the LAPD's West Bureau Homicide division in a press conference held on Tuesday.
Continued Lt. Radtke: "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."
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Smith was arrested in Pasadena – which is around 15 miles from the location of the furniture store – on Jan. 19.
"We would like to thank the public, the media and our partners at Pasadena PD for their support in apprehending the suspect," LAPD tweeted after announcing his arrest Wednesday afternoon.