Suspect identified in stabbing death of 24-year-old woman in Hancock Park, $250K reward offered

LAPD said Brianna Kupfer was at the store by herself last week when she was attacked and killed by the suspect.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Suspect identified in murder of 24-year-old woman in Hancock Park
A $250,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the man accused of stabbing a 24-year-old furniture store worker to death in Hancock Park.

HANCOCK PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A $250,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the man accused of stabbing a 24-year-old furniture store worker to death in Hancock Park, officials announced.

The reward is made up of contributions from the community and the city of Los Angeles, authorities told Eyewitness News.

Authorities have identified the suspect as 31-year-old Shawn Laval Smith. He is described as a Black male, 6-feet 3-inches tall, and weighing 190 pounds.

Police say Smith is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who spots him should call 911 immediately.

Smith is likely to be using public transportation, and special attention should be given to bus stops and train platforms, officials said.

Brianna Kupfer was working at the Croft House furniture store in the 300 block of La Brea Avenue last week when she was attacked, according to Los Angeles police.

LAPD Detective Herman Frettlohr said Kupfer was at the store by herself when she was killed by the suspect, who was last seen going out the back of the store, heading northbound through an alley.

The 24-year-old was found dead by a customer who entered the business, Frettlohr said.

READ ALSO | Hancock Park neighborhood in shock over apparent random murder at furniture store

A memorial is growing outside the Hancock Park furniture store where 24-year-old employee Brianna Kupfer was stabbed to death in an apparent random attack.

Newly released video shows Smith from a variety of angles, 30 minutes after police say he stabbed Kupfer to death. Smith is seen casually shopping at a 7-Eleven buying items. Police say the suspect made other stops.

"This individual responsible for this vicious, senseless, and brutal crime, he walks amongst us. I am convinced of that," said LAPD Chief Michel Moore. "I'm convinced of it because of the reports of his activities prior to, and in the aftermath, of this brutal homicide, where he visited businesses up and down La Brea, and along the Beverly corridor as well. Businesses large and small."

Smith was last seen wearing a black hoodie with skinny jeans and dark shoes. He had on a white N95 mask and was carrying a backpack, according to police.

Video obtained by Eyewitness News shows Smith dressed in black clothing and wearing a white face mask as he walks away from the shop. LAPD says that Smith spent several minutes inside the furniture store.

"At 1:36 p.m., in the afternoon, Brianna was working in the store all by herself. She sent a text to a friend letting them know that there was someone inside the location that was giving her a bad vibe," said Lt. John Radke. "Regrettably that person did not see the text immediately."

A LinkedIn page that appears to belong to Kupfer says she was a designer at the Croft House. It's unknown if she knew the suspect and a motive for the attack remains under investigation.

Police are asking anyone who has information regarding this case, or sees the suspect, to contact LAPD West Bureau Homicide at (213) 382-9470, or (213) 484-6700 for after business hours. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

A vigil for Kupfer is scheduled for Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m. in front of the Croft House.