Brianna Kupfer murder suspect arrested – latest


Neighbour of young woman stabbed to death in LA speaks out

The man wanted on suspicion of the murder of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer has been taken into custody in California.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that Shawn Laval Smith was arrested by Pasadena police at around 11:50am that morning in the area of Fair Oaks and Colorado Blvd in Pasadena – roughly 17 miles from the luxury furniture store where Ms Kupfer was found murdered on 13 January.

“We can confirm, Shawn Laval Smith, the suspect responsible for the murder of Brianna Kupfer is in custody,” the department tweeted.

A huge manhunt had been underway to track down Mr Smith, 31, after the LAPD identified him on Tuesday night as the only suspect in the UCLA graduate student’s murder.

Ms Kupfer was alone working in the Croft House store when she was stabbed to death in what is believed to be a random attack. She was found bleeding on the floor by a customer and died at the scene.

Surveillance videos captured the suspect leaving the shop through a back door and then buying a vape pen in a 7-Eleven.

Police said she texted a friend about a customer with a “bad vibe” moments before her killing.

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Case draws comparisons to LA nurse assault

On the same day Ms Kupfer was killed, a nurse died after she was assaulted by a homeless person at a bus stop in downtown Los Angeles.

Sandra Shells, 70, was waiting for a bus at Union Station on 13 January when an assailant later identified as Kerry Bell allegedly hit her in the face, knocking her to the ground.

Ms Shells suffered a fractured skull and was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Many reacting on social media have pointed to the deaths of Ms Kupfer and Ms Shells as evidence that crime in the city is out of control.

The Independent’s Nathan Place has more:

Justin Vallejo20 January 2022 02:30

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The deaths of Michelle Alyssa Go, Sandra Shells and Brianna Kupfer in random killings shine a spotlight on homelessness, violent crime and gender-based violence, writes The Independent’s Rachel Sharp.

“All three women were then murdered in what appears to be random acts of senseless violence by homeless men. Their killings, which all took place across just three days last week, have once again thrust concerns around a rise in violent crime and homelessness in America’s major cities into the spotlight.”

Justin Vallejo20 January 2022 01:30

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Watch: Suspect Shawn Laval Smith 30 minutes after Brianna Kupfer murder

Police released video of suspect Shawn Laval Smith enter a 7-Eleven store just 30 minutes after the murder of Brianna Kupfer.

Watch the chilling footage below:

Justin Vallejo20 January 2022 00:30

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Covid-19 court backlog delayed trial of Shawn Laval Smith on firearm charges for more than two years: Report

The suspect in the murder of Brianna Kupfer was out on bond for more than two years as a Covid-19 court backlog delayed his trial on a prior firearm offence, Fox News Digital reported.

Shawn Laval Smith was charged with firearm offences over a November 2019 attack in which he allegedly fired a flare gun through the window of car while a toddler was in the back seat.

The felony carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison but a 1,330-case Covid-19 backlog in the South Carolina county has left Mr Smith waiting years to face trial, according to a court clerk and records quoted by Fox News Digital.

There was no case activity between March 2020 until prosecutors moved to revoke his $50,000 bond on Wednesday, March 18, the outlet added.

Justin Vallejo19 January 2022 23:40

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‘She was a kind soul’: Father remembers Brianna Kupfer

Before the arrest of suspect Shawn Laval Smith, the father of Brianna Kupfer remembered his daughter as a “kind soul”.

“She was a kind soul and always was trying to make herself better and everything around her better,” the victim’s father, Todd Kupfer, told Fox News Digital Monday. “She cared about people.”

Justin Vallejo19 January 2022 23:00

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Who is Brianna Kupfer? Everything we know about UCLA grad student

Brianna Kupfer has been described by loved ones as a “kind soul” who “glowed with positivity”.

At the time of her death, the 24-year-old was seeking a graduate degree in architectural design at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

She was also working as a design consultant at the Croft House upscale furniture boutique in Hancock Park in the west of Los Angeles where she was murdered on 13 January. She leaves behind her parents and three siblings.

Ms Kupfer was born and raised in Los Angeles and attended Brentwood High School. She then graduated from the University of Miami. Ms Kupfer’s father, Todd Kupfer, remembered her as always trying to improve the world around her.

This is everything we know about Brianna.

Oliver O’Connell19 January 2022 22:18

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Who is Shawn Laval Smith? Homeless suspect in stabbing of UCLA grad student Brianna Kupfer

Shawn Laval Smith, 31, was arrested in connection to the stabbing UCLA graduate student Brianna Kupfer to death at a Los Angeles furniture store.

Mr Smith is said to have a lengthy rap sheet spanning the US from South Carolina to California.

His most recent arrest was for shoplifting, according to Fox News. He was also jailed in San Mateo for assaulting a police officer, the outlet reported.

Los Angeles County jail records also showed an October 2020 arrest on a misdemeanour charge. He was released on $1,000 bail in that case, the outcome of which was not immediately clear.

Before that case, records reportedly showed Mr Smith was arrested in Charleston, South Carolina, on suspicion of firing a weapon into an occupied vehicle in November 2019. He was released on $50,000 bond in that case.

He also reportedly faced multiple arrests in Cherokee, North Carolina, between 2015 and 2018.

Prior to Mr Smith being named in connection with the Kupfer case, police said they believed the assailant was homeless.

Megan Sheets19 January 2022 21:48

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LAPD confirms arrest of ‘suspect responsible for the murder of Brianna Kupfer’

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that Shawn Laval Smith was located and detained by Pasadena police at around 11:50am on Wednesday morning in the area of Fair Oaks and Colorado Blvd in Pasadena.

“We can confirm, Shawn Laval Smith, the suspect responsible for the murder of Brianna Kupfer is in custody,” the department tweeted.

“We would like to thank the public, the media and our partners at Pasadena PD for their support in apprehending the suspect.”

Rachel Sharp19 January 2022 20:58

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Shawn Laval Smith arrested by Pasadena police

The man suspected of murdering Ms Kupfer has been arrested and taken into custody by Pasadena Police, according to FoxLA.

Shawn Laval Smith was taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon near the intersection of E. Colorado Boulevard and Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena, the outlet reported.

No further details are yet known.

The Independent has reached out to Pasadena Police for comment.

Rachel Sharp19 January 2022 20:47

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Have you seen this man?

The LAPD is asking for the public’s help in finding Shawn Laval Smith, the man suspected of murdering Ms Kupfer on 13 January.

He is described as a 31-year-old Black male, 6 foot 3 in height and weighing 190 pounds.

Investigators said he should be considered armed and dangerous and, if spotted, members of the public should call 911 and not approach him.

If anyone has information call LAPD West Bureau Homicide at 213-382-9470. After hours or on weekends, call 877-LAPD-247 (877-527-3247). To remain anonymous visit http://LACrimeStoppers.org

Wanted poster released by the LAPD for the man suspected of murdering Brianna Kupfer

(LAPD)

Rachel Sharp19 January 2022 20:29


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