Suspect in custody after UCLA student Brianna Kupfer killed


LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Shawn Laval Smith, the man suspected of killing UCLA student Brianna Kupfer, is now in custody, the Los Angeles Police Department announced on Twitter Wednesday.

Kupfer was found stabbed to death on the floor of the furniture business Croft House last week. She had been a design consultant for the store, according to NewsNation affiliate KTLA .

Police publicly identified 31-year-old Smith as a suspect in Kupfer’s death Tuesday evening, saying he should be considered “armed and dangerous” and offering a reward of $250,000 for information that led to an arrest. Less than a day later, Smith was taken into custody by Pasadena police, just before noon Wednesday.

“Detectives have determined the suspect was not known to the victim and was a random walk-in to the store,” police said. “The suspect attacked the victim with a knife and fled the scene through the back door.”

Before she was stabbed, police said Kupfer texted a friend about getting “bad vibes” from a man in the store, but the friend didn’t see it in time. Kupfer was working alone at the time of the attack, and no customers were in the store, either.

Police say surveillance video shows Smith inside a 7-Eleven about half an hour after the murder, where he paid for an item and walked away.

Security consultant Bryan Ferguson said on NewsNation’s “Morning in America” that police stated Smith walked into a couple of other businesses before entering the store Kupfer was in at the time of her murder.

Kupfer, 24, had been working on her graduate degree in architectural design at UCLA. Her family includes her parents and three siblings.

“To me, she’s the epitome of good, like my other children,” her father, Todd Kupfer, said. “And the epitome of evil just takes that away from us.”

An LAPD spokesperson told NewsNation that Smith’s charges would be posted to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department website Wednesday evening.

“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 tweeted after Smith’s arrest.

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate KTLA contributed to this report.

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