Brianna Kupfer, 24, was stabbed to death in a random attack last Thursday while she was working alone in a luxury furniture store in Los Angeles. She had texted a friend to say someone in the shop was ‘giving her a bad vibe’
Los Angeles police have released new video and photos showing a suspect in the fatal stabbing of UCLA grad student Brianna Kupfer calmly walking into a 7-Eleven store and buying a vape pen, just 30 minutes after allegedly knifing the woman in cold-blood.
Brianna, 24, was working alone at the luxury Croft House furniture store in LA’s upmarket Fairfax neighborhood on Thursday when a man – believed to be homeless – entered at 1.50pm and stabbed her to death before making his escape through the back door. Twenty minutes later, another customer found her in a pool of blood. By the time police arrived, she was dead.
At a Tuesday press conference, LAPD Lt. John Radke revealed Brianna had texted a friend to say someone in the store was ‘giving her a bad vibe’.
Authorities also announced a $250,000 reward for information leading to the murder suspect’s arrest – $200,000 of that amount is from community donations.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore held a press conference on Tuesday and described the unidentified male suspect as African-American, 6 feet to 6 feet 5 inches tall, with a thin build and short dreadlocks.
He was last seen wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark pants, black tennis shoes and mirrored sunglasses, and carrying a black backpack.
Surveillance video released by the police captured the wanted man strolling into a 7-Eleven located at Beverly Boulevard and Wiltshire Boulevard – about 4 miles from the crime scene – and handing a sales clerk cash to buy a vape pen.
The man in the video, wearing all black, except for a white dust mask commonly worn by house painters, does not appear in a hurry as he places a bill on the counter and counts a handful of coins. At one point, he briefly lowers his mask.
The store worker hands him the vape pen and the suspect walks away, but he immediately returns and apparently asks to exchange the vaping device for another one.
A still photo from surveillance video shows a suspect in UCLA student Brianna Kupfer’s murder buying a vape pen at a 7-Eleven just 30 minutes after the January 13 stabbing
The suspect dressed in all black walked into a store located about 4 miles from the crime scene where Kupfer was found dead
The man appeared calm as he counted the money and handed it to a sales clerk
He is seen in this frame lowering his dust mask to reveal the bottom half of his face
The suspect was last seen carrying a backpack and wearing mirrored glasses
Kupfer’s father has revealed that his daughter was not supposed to be working on the day she was stabbed inside a high-end furniture store – and he laid some blame for her death on politicians and their skewed priorities.
‘I blame what’s endemic in our society right now, is that everybody seems to be oriented on giving back rights and bestowing favor on people that rob others of their rights,’ Todd Kupfer told Fox News.
Kupfer said he is not blaming any politicians by name, but he argued that their job is ‘to make communities better, to make people care more, not to tear down communities by exposing them to people that are falling out the bottom, that really don’t care about other human beings and just think they can do whatever they like in our society.’
Brianna , a graduate student and design consultant, was working alone at the luxury Croft Home furniture store on Thursday afternoon when police say a man, who they believe was homeless, walked into the business, stabbed the employee to death, and then fled out the back door.
Brianna’s father confirmed to Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy that his daughter was not supposed to be at work that day.
‘You can question everything, you can spend your nights with all the ‘what if’s… but it doesn’t change anything,’ Todd Kupfer said. [Brianna is] a dedicated person. She was at work that day.’
He added: ‘I don’t know why she was there alone, but she was. I don’t think anybody would have anticipated that this could possibly happen there.
Brianna was not supposed to be working last Thursday, but she ended up at the store alone. Her father said no one could have predicted that she would be attacked
Todd Kupfer (right) went on Fox News on Tuesday to talk about the cold-blooded murder of his daughter, 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer, who was stabbed to death in LA last week
Todd told host Steve Doocy that he blames politicians and their skewed priorities for the rising crime rates in communities
Surveillance video shows a suspect in Brianna’s murder calmly walking away from the crime scene in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon
‘I don’t think anybody is to blame other than the assailant – the awful person that did this to my daughter.’
Todd Kupfer said he wants his daughter to be remembered ‘as a person, a human being and a caring, loving and devoted family member and a great friend and just a rising star.’
The architectural design student from Pacific Palisades was discovered lying in a pool of blood 20 minutes later by a horrified customer, who was heard screaming, ‘Oh, my God!.’ Kupfer died at the scene before help could arrive.
Todd (far left) said he wants his daughter Brianna (pictured hugging a pet) to be remembered as a ‘rising star’
The LAPD determined that it was a random attack and the suspect did not know the victim. Police say he was wearing a dark hoodie, sunglasses, a white N-95 mask, and carrying a dark back pack.
‘Crime is truly spiking, and we have a lot of criminals on the streets that shouldn’t be out,’ Kupfer’s father told Fox News.
His daughter had been working as a design consultant for about a year at the high-end furniture store popular with celebrities like Mandy Moore, whose Pasadena home features a Croft House sofa, according to Architectural Digest.
‘She was a kind soul and always was trying to make herself better and everything around her better,’ Kupfer, said as he fought back tears. ‘She cared about people.’
The murder comes amid a huge crime surge in Los Angeles, with homicides in Los Angeles rising 52 per cent last year from 2019, and shooting incidents were up 59 per cent, according to LAPD data.
Kupfer says he believes politicians are ignoring this spike in violent crime.
‘We need to champion [my daughter] as a beacon of what’s wrong and make sure that people recognize that – because it could be their children next, and it’s just an impossible price to pay,’ he said.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is under fire for failing to crack down on the recent spike in violence.
He won over voters last year with promises of sweeping criminal justice reforms that critics say put the interests of criminals before the safety of the community, Fox News reported.
Brianna (center right) leaves behind her mother, father, brothers Brandon and Tucker and her sister Mikaela, who was her best friend, her family said
LA crime is on the upswing, according to police statistics. Shooting victims have increased 10.6 percent year-to-year and 53 percent from the same point in 2019
The killing comes amid a huge crime surge in Los Angeles, with its woke District Attorney George Gascon under fire for failing to crack down on the violence
The city has also suffered a shocking wave of follow-home robberies and organized smash-and-grab attacks on retailers.
Jacqueline Avant, the 81 year-old wife of music producer Clarence Avant, became the most high-profile robbery victim when she was shot and killed at her $2.7 million Beverly Hills mansion in December.
On January 3 in nearby San Jose, nine hammer-wielding thugs stormed a San Jose shopping center and smashed glass display cases at three stores before fleeing with $110,000 in jewelry.
Los Angeles police arrested 14 people last November in connection with 11 recent smash-and-grab robberies at stores, where nearly $340,000 worth of merchandise was stolen.
A Los Angeles Nordstrom, a Lululemon in Studio City, a Fairfax district store, and a CVS pharmacy in South Los Angeles were among the stores hit.
However, due to county’s zero-bail policies, the suspects were all released within hours of being handcuffed.
Gascon said of rising crime rates: ‘The reality is that we go through these cycles, and we go through the cycles for a variety of reasons … In many ways we cannot prosecute our way out of social inequalities, income inequalities, the unhoused, the desperation that we have.’
Police said the male suspect (pictured) is believed to be homeless and fled through the back door before calming walking down an alley
The architectural design student from Pacific Palisades was alone in the Croft House store on La Brea Avenue in LA’s upscale Fairfax neighborhood when a man entered around 1:50 p.m. and stabbed her. She was found 20 minutes later by a customer
Gascon is currently embroiled in a dispute over a transgender woman who has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl, with the DA saying she could be allowed to serve her sentence under house arrest.
He refused to prosecute the 26-year-old Hannah Tubbs as an adult for the crime committed two weeks before her 18th birthday.
On New Year’s Eve in 2014, Tubbs spotted a 10-year-old girl at a Denny’s in Palmdale, California, followed her into the bathroom, held her by the throat and forced a hand down the girl’s pants.
Gascon is refusing to sentence Tubbs as an adult because the defendant was 17 when the attack took place.
Jon Hatami, a prosecutor and supporter of the movement to recall Gascon, said Tubbs was too dangerous to be in the juvenile system.
‘This clearly shows you the dangerous aspect of the blanket policies of George Gascon,’ he said.
Separately, Gascon is facing another scandal after his own cops went over his head to ask federal prosecutors to charge the alleged killers of an off-duty LAPD officer.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva sought out the federal prosecution for the four gang members accused of killing Officer Fernando Arroyos, 27, on January 10 over fears pursing them through Gascon could lead to lighter sentencing.
Last year, Gascon axed sentencing enhancements – such as membership of a gang – that would have seen Arroyos’ alleged killers potentially jailed for life if convicted.
California law stipulates a sentence of 25 years to life without parole, whereas Gascon’s reforms would see killers offered parole after completing their sentence.
The federal charges they now face come with enhancements which automatically lengthen a sentence should the person be convicted to life without parole.
Gascon previously announced he had decided to no longer pursue sentencing enhancements in cases involving gangs as part of an increasingly controversial prison reform policy aimed at boosting ‘equity.’
A memorial for Kupfer has formed outside the Croft House in the days following the deadly attack
A heartfelt note posted to the store’s window this week talks about how Kupfer was beloved by her coworkers
Riley Rea, co-owner of Croft House, told the LA Times that Brianna was beloved by her coworkers at the store where she had worked for a year.
She added: ‘She was mature beyond her years.’
A heartfelt note was posted to the store’s window this week that reads: ‘The entire Croft House family is deeply saddened by the devastating loss of our beloved team member on January 13, 2022. Our La Brea Avenue showroom will be closed until further notice to allow our team members to grieve and process this unthinkable tragedy and in order for law enforcement to complete their investigation.
Please keep the family, friends, and colleagues in close thought during this difficult time as we mourn, cherish, miss, and honor someone we care for so much. The entire Croft House family sends our love to our team member’s family and friends. Please direct all questions related to this tragic event to the LAPD.’
At the bottom of the page is a handwritten note that reads: ‘We love you so much.’
Dr. Jennifer Botelho, the owner of a nearby chiropractic office, said the suspect entered her business shortly before the stabbing.
She said: ‘He came in and asked a couple of questions: ‘Do you do orthopedics here?’ What kind of care we provide, and then he left. So he was just here for a few minutes.’
She added: ‘It’s terrifying. It’s horrible. She’s such a young girl. … We feel so horrible for Brianna’s family, and hope we can catch this guy.’
Her father described as her an ‘angel’ and a clever young woman who was devoted to her family with big aspirations.
Brianna leaves behind her mother, father, brothers Brandon and Tucker, and her sister Mikaela, who was her best friend, her family said.