'BAD VIBE': Student's chilling text before being stabbed to death at work

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A young woman who was killed while working alone in a furniture store in a random attack texted a friend about someone with a “bad vibe” in the shop before she was murdered.

Brianna Kupfer, 24, was found dead on the floor of high-end Los Angeles furniture store Croft House on Thursday afternoon, Los Angeles Police Department said.

The LAPD said Ms Kupfer, a graduate student in architectural design, was not known to her alleged attacker who stabbed her with a knife.

Brianna Kupfer, 24, is pictured.
Brianna Kupfer, 24, died in a random attack at her place of work. Source: CBS Los Angeles

Lieutenant John Radtke told reporters on Wednesday, she texted a friend before the attack.

"She sent a text to a friend saying there was someone inside the location that gave her a bad vibe,” he said.

“Regrettably, that person [friend] did not see the text immediately.”

That text was sent at 1.36pm and at 1.50pm a customer found Ms Kupfer lifeless, and covered in blood, he said.

Police offered a US$250,000 reward to find the man allegedly responsible who they identified as Shawn Laval Smith, 31.

Just before midday on Wednesday (local time), Smith was arrested. Police said Smith is homeless. It is not clear what charges he immediately faces.

CCTV showed a man wearing an N95 mask walking in the alley at the rear of the crime scene.

Shawn Laval Smith, 31, is pictured.
Shawn Laval Smith, 31, has been arrested. Source: LAPD

'Senseless murder' as 'great role model' killed

Todd Kupfer, Ms Kupfer’s dad, told CBS Los Angeles, the family continues to grieve.

"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,” he told the station.

Mr Kupfer told Fox News his daughter was "very caring" and "a great role model".

"I'm so proud of what she's accomplished and where she was going," Mr Kupfer said.

LAPD Chief Michael Moore called Ms Kupfer's death a "senseless murder".

Brianna Kupfer, 24, is pictured.
Ms Kupfer's slaying was random, police said. Source: Facebook/ Brianna Kupfer

Ms Kupfer had been studying at UCLA and was looking to build a career in architectural design in Los Angeles. At Croft House she was working as a consultant.

Paul Koretz, a member of Los Angeles City Council, told reporters Ms Kupfer was "a smart, funny driven and kind soul" as he read out a statement on behalf of her family.

"While she could be shy at times, she lit up any room she was in and strove to elevate everyone she met so they could be better versions of themselves," he said.

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