You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

UCLA student found stabbed to death in furniture store minutes after texting friend about a customer's bad vibe, police say

Business Insider India logo Business Insider India 19-01-2022 Sophia Ankel
UCLA student found stabbed to death in furniture store minutes after texting friend about a customer's bad vibe, police say © Emma McIntyre/Getty Images UCLA student found stabbed to death in furniture store minutes after texting friend about a customer's bad vibe, police say
  • Brianna Kupfer was found stabbed to death at a furniture store in Los Angeles last week.
  • Minutes before, she had texted a friend about getting a bad vibe from a customer, police said.

A 24-year-old University of California, Los Angeles, graduate student was found stabbed to death inside the luxury-furniture store where she worked minutes after texting a friend about getting a bad vibe from a customer, police said Tuesday.

Brianna Kupfer was working alone at Croft House on North La Brea Avenue on January 13 when the suspect entered, Lt. John Radtke of the Los Angeles Police Department said.

"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," Radtke added.

The suspect was inside Croft House for several minutes before leaving through the back door, Radtke said.

Another customer found Kupfer in a pool of blood 15 minutes later, Radtke said.

A motive is not known. LAPD Chief Michel Moore called the attack "a random act of violence."

The LAPD identified the suspect as Shawn Laval Smith, 31, and released a video of him at a nearby 7-Eleven 30 minutes after the attack.

Moore said Smith was still at large and considered armed and dangerous. He added that there was a $250,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Kupfer's father, Todd, told CBS Los Angeles: "I would love to tell you that there's going to be a point we're going to be better, but I feel like it's going to be a big missing piece."

Kupfer was studying architectural design at UCLA and worked at the store as a design consultant, CBS Los Angeles reported.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon