UPDATE — The Los Angeles Police Department has reported that Smith is in custody. He was arrested by officers with the Pasadena Police Department at about 11:50 a.m. Pacific near Fair Oaks and Colorado Boulevard. Our original report is below.
The Los Angeles Police Department has named a person “wanted in connection with” the murder of Brianna Kupfer, the 24-year-old UCLA architectural design student who was killed while working alone in a high-end furniture store on Jan. 13.
The police have identified Shawn Laval Smith, 31, as the man they’re seeking in connection to Kupfer’s killing. He’s described in a wanted poster as someone who “should be considered armed and dangerous” and as someone “highly likely to be using public transportation” around Pasadena, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Covina, San Diego, San Francisco, and other locations in Southern California. The authorities asked citizens to keep a lookout around “bus stops and train platforms” and to call 911 (or use an anonymous tip platform) without approaching the suspect.
The wanted poster suggests that an arrest warrant is imminent.
31-year-old Shawn Laval Smith has been identified in connection with the murder of Brianna Kupfer, which occurred in the 300 block of North La Brea Avenue on January 13, 2022. He should be considered armed and dangerous. If seen do not approach, call 911. pic.twitter.com/jZlESB9l9r
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) January 19, 2022
A customer found Kupfer, of Pacific Palisades, stabbed to death on the floor of the North La Brea Avenue store where she worked in Los Angeles, CBS News reported. The discovery of Kupfer’s body occurred about fifteen minutes after the victim texted a friend that a customer was in the store and that she felt unsafe.
“She sent a text to a friend saying there was someone inside the location that gave her a bad vibe. Regrettably, that person did not see the text immediately,” said LAPD Lt. John Radtke, according to CBS.
The LAPD described the stabbing in a press release:
On Thursday afternoon, January 13, 2022, around 1:50 p.m., Wilshire Patrol officers responded to a radio call of an “Ambulance Assault with a Deadly Weapon” at a business, located at the 300 block of North La Brea Avenue. The officers met with the reporting party, a customer who had entered the store and discovered the victim deceased on the floor.
Detectives have determined the suspect was not known to the victim and was a random walk in to the store. The suspect attacked the victim with a knife and fled the scene through the back door. There is no known motive at this time. The suspect was last seen on video surveillance northbound in the alley to the rear of the crime scene.
The suspect is described as a male Black, unknown age, tall, thin, 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 department on Tuesday announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to a succcessful conviction in the case.
The Los Angeles Police Department also released video footage which purports to show the suspect at a convenience store.
The images show a man clad in black clothing and a white face mask dropping what appears to be a crumpled dollar bill on the counter.
He eventually emerges from the transaction carrying what looks like an electronic cigarette or vape pen.
The video and the LAPD wanted poster are below.
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