(NewsNation Now) — People gathered in Hancock Park on Thursday afternoon to mourn and remember Brianna Kupfer, the 24-year-old woman who was fatally stabbed last week at the furniture store where she worked. The vigil was held one day after police arrested Shawn Laval Smith, the man suspected of killing her.
Smith, who has an extensive criminal record dating back to 2013, was spotted and arrested about 14 miles from the crime scene.
“I can’t imagine what they’re going through. I reached out to them a little bit and they’re surviving, but how can you live through this?” said attendee John Beaver.
The Kupfer family was not at the vigil Thursday. In a statement to NewsNation, Brianna’s father said, “We very much appreciate that this is happening, but it will be too difficult for any of us to attend. The attention is better served just being about Brianna right now.”
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. Police said Smith was not known to Kupfer and was a random walk-in to the store. A $2 million bail has been set for Smith.
Many of the other storefronts in this area of the attack are now operating by appointment only to minimize COVID-19 risks, but to also keep strangers out and ensure all customers who enter the building are supposed to be there.