Man Charged With Murder in Death of Brianna Kupfer

Shawn Laval Smith faces one count of murder in connection to January 13 stabbing

By Sam Catanzaro

A man has been charged with murder for killing a 24-year-old Pacific Palisades woman while she worked at a furniture store recently in Hancock Park.

On January 21, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón charged Shawn Laval Smith with one count of murder and a special allegation that he used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife. 

The victim, Brianna Kupfer was working at Croft House, a furniture business located on the 300 block of North La Brea Avenue, at the time of the murder on January 13. A graduate of both Brentwood High School and the University of Miami, she had been working on a degree in architectural design at UCLA.

The LAPD says Kupfer immediately had a bad feeling when Smith walked into the store.

“She sent a text to a friend saying there was someone inside the location that gave her a bad vibe. Regrettably, that person sees the text immediately,” said LAPD Lieutenant John Radtke.

Around 15 minutes later, a customer discovered Kupfer stabbed to death. Police say there is no known motive.

On January 19, Smith was arrested by the Pasadena Police Department in the area of Fair Oaks and Colorado Boulevard.

Smith is currently being held in Twin Towers Correctional Facility on a $2 million bond. He is expected to appear in court next on February 17. 

Over the past few years, various police departments across the country have arrested Smith. In 2020, Covina police arrested him for a misdemeanor of receiving stolen property not prosecutors did not press charges. Smith also appears to have been released on a $50,000 bond in South Carolina in connection to a 2019 arrest on suspicion of firing a weapon into an occupied vehicle, the NY Post reported. In addition, in 2016 Smith pleaded guilty to attacking a Charleston police officer “but it was not immediately clear what sentence he was given in the case that was closed in 2018,” the Post adds.

in Crime, News
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