Police have arrested a suspect in the random attack and murder of an employee working alone at a high-end furniture store in Los Angeles.
On Jan. 19 shortly before noon, officers in Pasadena took Shawn Laval Smith into custody on $2 million bail in connection to the death of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer, KCBS-TV reported.
According to the station, the 31-year-old suspect was arrested at a bus stop after employees at a nearby restaurant recognized him when he used the bathroom and they called police.
“Turns out that it was the person they were looking for, so that made us really uncomfortable once we knew they had just been inside of our restaurant,” said one witness, who only identified herself as B. Tapia.
Kupfer, a UCLA architectural design student, was working on Jan. 13 at Croft House in L.A.’s Hancock Park neighborhood when the suspect allegedly entered the store. Police said she sent a friend a text about someone in the shop “giving her a bad vibe,” LAPD Lt. John Radtke said.
Around 15 minutes after sending the message, a customer found Kupfer stabbed to death in what police believe was a random act of violence. Nothing was missing from the store, according to investigators.
At the time of the murder, Smith, who has a lengthy criminal record, was out on a $50,000 bond in connection to an alleged 2019 road rage incident in Charleston, South Carolina, according to The New York Post. In that case, Smith is suspected of firing a weapon into an occupied vehicle.
“We all recognize that this could have happened to anybody’s child. It’s just senseless,” said Todd Kupfer, the victim’s father. “My daughter was a completely innocent victim and there was 100 percent no provocation.”
The suspect’s aunt, Velma Washington, told Fox News Digital her nephew allegedly had a history of battling mental health issues but did not elaborate.
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