Thursday, May 26, 2022

Pasadena police release audio of 911 call reporting UCLA student’s suspected killer

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FIRST ON FOX: Pasadena police have shared the 911 call from the man who spotted Shawn Laval Smith lounging on a park bench in the city Wednesday while a manhunt for him was underway following the stabbing death of UCLA graduate student Brianna Kupfer.

“Hello, I am calling because I see a gentleman who looks very similar to the suspect in the Kupfer stabbing in L.A.,” the caller states. “I’m in Pasadena…He just walked past the corner of Green and Terrace, in Pasadena.”

Aerial images obtained by FOX 11 Los Angeles show police putting him into the back of a police SUV ahead of his expected transfer to LAPD custody.  
(FOX 11)

The Los Angeles Police Department announced the arrest Wednesday and said the Pasadena Police Department detained Smith, 31, at around 11:50 a.m. near Fair Oaks and Colorado Boulevard.

The caller said he saw Smith in a black hoodie, dark sweatpants and the distinctive backpack he was seen wearing in surveillance video showing him buying a vape pen at a Los Angeles 7-Eleven store just 30 minutes after the killing.


Smith, who has a rap sheet spanning two coasts, initially gave a fictitious name, the source said. The LAPD sent its fugitive unit with a fingerprint reader to Pasadena and confirmed Smith’s identity with the device.

The LAPD received more than 1,000 tips since launching its investigation into the Jan. 13 stabbing death of the UCLA graduate student, the source said.

Kupfer, 24, was working as a design consultant at Croft House, an upscale furniture store on North La Brea Avenue, when Smith allegedly entered and immediately creeped her out. She texted a friend saying she felt uncomfortable. Twenty minutes later, a customer walked in and found her in a pool of blood.

The interior design student had been working alone that day.


Los Angeles police said it was a random attack – at 1:30 on a sunny afternoon without a known motive.

Smith was captured on surveillance footage 30 minutes after the slaying calmly buying a vape pen at 7-Eleven.

Kupfer grew up in the Pacific Palisades, an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, she returned to her hometown to pursue a graduate degree in interior design.

Her father, Todd Kupfer, said she had dreamed of launching her own clothing line. The day Kupfer was murdered she was supposed to fly to New York for the weekend to celebrate her best friend’s birthday.

“She was a kind soul and was always trying to make herself better and everything around her better,” Kupfer told Fox News Digital in an interview Tuesday. “She cared about people.”

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