Police on Tuesday identified a suspect wanted in the fatal stabbing of a young woman inside a Hancock Park luxury furniture store.
The suspect, identified as 31-year-old Shawn Laval Smith, was still at large Tuesday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He was described as being armed and dangerous.
A $250,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case, authorities said.
The killing happened in broad daylight, on Jan. 13, at Croft House on North La Brea Avenue.
The victim, 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer, was working alone at the store when she was stabbed to death.
Someone had walked into the store, attacked the young woman with a knife and then left through the back door, according to LAPD.
A customer later walked in and found her dead on the floor.
It remains unclear what motivated the attack. Police said the suspect “was not known to the victim and was a random walk in to the store.”
After the stabbing, LAPD found footage of a tall, thin man in a dark hoodie, sunglasses and a white N-95 mask calmly walking away in the alley behind the crime scene.
New video released Tuesday shows the suspect at a 7-Eleven store in the area of Beverly and Wilshire boulevards — just 30 minutes after the brutal killing.
In releasing the video, police asked for the public’s help identifying the man. Smith was named as a suspect just a few hours after the video’s release.
Little is known about Smith.
Booking records show he was previously arrested in October 2020 in Covina for a misdemeanor charge.
Police said he has been in different locations around Southern California, including West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Covina and San Diego.
He is likely to be using public transportation, according to LAPD.
“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” police warned. “If seen do not approach call 911.”
The victim, Kupfer, was a Pacific Palisades resident who worked as a design consultant for Croft House, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Co-owner of Croft House, Riley Rea, told the Los Angeles Times that Kupfer was taking a design course at the UCLA extension. He described her as smart, confident, calm and beloved.
“I’m absolutely devastated for her and her family,” he told the Times. “It just seems so disgusting and unexpected. Really there are no words to say how shocked we are to lose such a wonderful person.”
Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD West Bureau Homicide at 213-382-9470. After hours or on weekends, call 877-527-3247. To provide information anonymously, call LA Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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