Suspect in death of UCLA grad student Brianna Kupfer arrested

LOS ANGELES — Police on Wednesday apprehended the man suspected of stabbing University of California, Los Angeles, graduate student Brianna Kupfer, authorities said.

Update 3:55 p.m. EST Jan. 19: Officials confirmed in a social media post that Shawn Laval Smith, 31, had been taken into custody just before noon in Pasadena.

“We would like to thank the public, the media and our partners at Pasadena PD for their support in apprehending the suspect,” Los Angeles police said in a Twitter post.

Original report: Police on Tuesday identified a 31-year-old man suspected of stabbing a University of California, Los Angeles, graduate student to death last week.

>> Read more trending news

A customer found Brianna Kupfer, 24, dead Thursday afternoon at the Croft House furniture store in the 300 block of North La Brea Avenue. She had been stabbed to death in an apparently random attack, investigators said.

Authorities identified her suspected killer as Shawn Laval Smith. On Tuesday, police released video of Smith taken from a 7-Eleven convenience store about 30 minutes after Kupfer’s death.

Video of the suspect wanted in connection with a murder which occurred in the 300 block of North La Brea on January 13,...

Posted by LAPD Headquarters on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” investigators said. “If seen do not approach, call 911.”

Earlier, officials said they believed Smith was homeless. Previously, he had been seen in Pasadena, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Covina, San Diego, San Francisco “and several other locations around southern California,” according to police.

>> Related: Suspect sought after UCLA grad student stabbed to death at furniture store

“He is highly likely to be using public transportation,” authorities said in a wanted poster released Tuesday. “Special attention should be given to bus stops and train platforms.”

A $250,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Smith’s arrest and conviction, according to KTLA and WCBS-TV.

“We must fight for justice for (Kupfer), even though nothing will bring her back,” Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz said Tuesday at a city council meeting after introducing a motion for the city to offer a $50,000 reward for information in Kupfer’s death, WCBS reported.

“Our mission and my objective is that the perpetrator that took away Brianna from her beloved parents, colleagues, friends and our community will be permanently locked away, constantly reminded of his horrible, ugly and senseless murder of an innocent young woman who had endless potential.”

Todd Kupfer, Brianna Kupfer’s father, told the Los Angeles Times that he hoped the reward would help authorities to arrest the person who killed his daughter and described her death as “heart wrenching.”

“She loved to dance,” he said. “She was good at socializing when it was her environment. She loved to laugh.”

Comments on this article