Suspect Accused of Stabbing Brianna Kupfer Free on $50K Bond For 2019 South Carolina Shooting Charge

Shawn Laval Smith
LAPD

The man accused of stabbing 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer to death in a Los Angeles furniture store on January 13 was reportedly free on $50,000 bond out of South Carolina for a shooting charge.

Shawn Laval Smith, 31, was arrested in Charleston in 2019 on suspicion of firing a weapon into an occupied vehicle, according to a report from the Daily Mail.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 17: Flowers are placed outside Croft House furniture store in memory of graduate student Brianna Kupfer. Kupfer was stabbed to death by an unknown assailant while working in the store on Thursday January 13th in Los Angeles. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Flowers are placed outside Croft House furniture store in memory of graduate student Brianna Kupfer. Kupfer was stabbed to death by an unknown assailant while working in the store on Thursday January 13th in Los Angeles. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

“An indictment in that case was handed down on March 16, 2020, just before COVID-19 paralyzed the courts, and the docket shows no further action on the case,” the report stated. 

Smith is also free on a $1,000 bail from an October 2020 misdemeanor arrest in Los Angeles County, records show. The “nature of the charge wasn’t immediately clear,” and the case remains unresolved. 

Smith is accused of stabbing Kupfer at the Croft House furniture story in Hancock Park where she worked while studying design at UCLA. The upscale neighborhood was considered relatively safe until recently. 

Prior to the stabbing, Kupfer texted a friend saying she got a “bad vibe” from the man who entered the store. The friend did not immediately see the text message at the time. Kupfer was working alone when she was killed, and a customer discovered her roughly 20 minutes after the attack and called for help. Kupfer died at the scene before help arrived, the report states. 

Security footage from a 7-Eleven at Beverly and Wilshire boulevards allegedly recorded the killer, who was wearing an N95 mask, 30 minutes after the Kupfer’s murder. A $250,000 reward has been offered for the capture of Smith, who police consider armed and dangerous. He will likely be using public transit.

According to the report, Smith has a “prolific criminal record,” with “dozens of prior charges” in South and North Carolina.

“Smith’s prior charges on the East Coast include assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, assault on a police officer, trespassing, possession of a stolen vehicle, and misdemeanors for larceny and possession of stolen goods. The outcomes of those cases weren’t immediately clear,” the report continues. 

Smith allegedly has a “history of failing to appear in court” and has been arrested several times on bench warrants.  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 2016 asked the public for information about Smith, who was wanted on “14 active warrants for his arrest for bicycle thefts” in the Charlotte area. 

Law enforcement told Fox News that some of Smith’s most recent charges are out of San Francisco and San Mateo, where is “accused of assaulting a police officer.”

Kupfer’s death comes “amid a huge crime surge in Los Angeles,” the report states, noting that homicides in L.A. rose 52 percent last year from 2019. Shooting incidents increased 59 percent, LAPD data confirms.

George Soros-backed Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has been under fire for the recent increase in violence. In early January, the Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously to support recall efforts aimed at Gascón, whose “criminal justice reform” efforts coincide with a violent crime wave.

Speaking with Fox News earlier this week, Brianna’s father, Todd Kupfer, blamed politicians for his daughter’s murder.

“Crime is truly spiking, and we have a lot of criminals on the streets that shouldn’t be out,” Kupfer said.

“We have a lot of politicians that somehow forgot about people and think the key to getting elected is to support the lowest rung of our society and to give them rights and somehow that’s the answer to getting votes,” he added.

Breitbart News reporter Paul Bois contributed to this report. 

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