Los Angeles police identified the man as they say stabbed a UCLA student Brianna Kupfer to death in an advanced furniture store where she worked.
Shawn Laval Smith, 31, is considered armed and dangerous and “most likely uses public transportation”, The LAPD announced Tuesday.
Kupfer, 24, was killed in the afternoon of Jan. 13 in a random attack as she was working alone in the store at Croft House on North La Brea Ave., police said.
She had texted a friend to say someone came into the store and “gave her a bad mood,” LAPD lieutenant John Radtke said at a news conference prior to the release of the suspect’s identity.
The killer then stabbed Kupfer in what police said was “a random act of violence” and then walked through the back door without taking anything, police said. He was seen walking calmly down the street, according to police.
A prospective customer later found Kupfer dead. Police had released surveillance footage of the suspect and announced a $ 250,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of the killer – a combination of municipal reward money and community donations.
Kupfer studied architectural design and worked in the shop as a design consultant.
“She always wanted to make sure everyone around her was well,” the victim’s grieving father, Todd Kupfer, told The Post.
Smith – described as black, 6 feet 3 and 190 pounds – has recently been to Pasadena, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and elsewhere in Southern California, according to a poster published by the LAPD. The department said “special attention” should be given to bus stops and train platforms in the search.