Brianna Kupfer murder: Alleged suspect Shawn Laval Smith arrested in Pasadena

Shawn Laval Smith, the suspected killer of Brianna Kupfer, was arrested Wednesday in Pasadena in connection with the 24-year-old UCLA grad student's stabbing death, authorities confirmed to FOX 11.

He was arrested by Pasadena police officers around 11:50 a.m. at a bus stop near the intersection of E. Colorado Boulevard and Fair Oaks Avenue, approximately 17 miles from the furniture store where Kupfer was murdered, officials said. 

"We can confirm, Shawn Laval Smith, the suspect responsible for the murder of Brianna Kupfer is in custody, after being located and detained by Pasadena PD around 11:50am this morning in the area of Fair Oaks and Colorado Blvd.," the LAPD posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

"This case was solved not only by the LAPD, but by civilian criminalists, the city council support and the community at large," LAPD Homicide Detective Herman Frettlohr said. "Proud of our LA County community at large."

Los Angeles police launched a hunt for Smith, 31, after Kupfer was found stabbed to death in a random daytime attack at a luxury furniture store last week. Smith remained on the loose early Wednesday and police have said that he should be considered armed and dangerous.

A combined $250,000 reward was being offered to help Los Angeles Police track down Smith.


Kupfer was working as a consultant for Croft House on North La Brea Avenue last Thursday and was alone in the store when a man entered the business. She texted a friend saying that she was getting a "bad vibe" from the man, but the friend didn't get the text in time, authorities said in a press conference Tuesday.

Brianna Kupfer (LinkedIn)

A short time later, the man attacked her with a knife. A customer found her body in a pile of blood a short time later. 

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Smith has a lengthy rap sheet with previous charges out of CaliforniaNorth Carolina and South Carolina. Online records obtained by FOX News show at least 11 arrests in Charleston, S.C., dating back to 2010, including a pending case for allegedly discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle on Nov. 13, 2019. 

In a statement from her family that was read at a press conference Tuesday, they wrote that "Brianna, who was born, educated and was building her career here in Los Angeles was a rising star in this community whose ascent was unnecessarily cut short by a heartless criminal last Thursday. She embodied everything that is great about Los Angeles."

Kupfer went to Brentwood High School and the Universities of Miami and Sydney. Her Dad described her as their sweet angel, smart, devoted to her family, with lots of friends, big dreams and her whole life ahead of her. 

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