Arrest in La Brea Murder


January 27, 2022

UCLA grad student Brianna Kupfer was working at 276 La Brea Ave when Shawn Lavall Smith walked in and allegedly stabbed her.

By David Ganezer

LA was shocked to hear on January 13th, that a young woman working at a high end furniture store on La Brea, was stabbed and killed by a homeless man.

Police made an arrest Monday in the murder investigation surrounding the murder of Brianna Kupfer, 24. Pasadena police arrested Shawn Lavall Smith, 31, on Fair Oaks Blvd. TMZ is reporting that Wednesday morning, a citizen thought he recognized Smith on the street and called police.

The homeless man was filmed walking into the furniture store where the 24 year old graduate student was working all alone on Friday, January 13th, and stabbing her. She bled to death on the floor of the store. As she bled to death, Smith was filmed calmly purchasing potato chips and soda at a nearby 7/11.

Police say Kupfer was working alone at the furniture store Croft House in Hancock Park on 13 January when a man wandered into the shop, killed her, and left. She was a graduate student of design at UCLA, and had herself designed some of the pieces for sale at Croft House. She grew up in Pacific Palisades, and her father has spoken publicly about the need to make the streets of LA safe again.

Smith had been described in wanted posters as "Armed and dangerous." He is said to be a mentally ill homeless man who has been arrested and released several times. He has been homeless in Seattle, San Francisco, throughout Los Angeles County and in San Diego as well.


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