LAPD identifies suspect in the stabbing death of UCLA student – and he had a massive rap sheet


LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles Police Department announced that they have identified the person whom they believe is responsible for the apparently random murder of a college student.

Police report that the suspect, who is in custody, had a history of violence.

The Los Angeles Police Department announced the man wanted for the stabbing death of UCLA college student Briana Kupfer is a violent felon who was out on bond at the time the offense occurred.

The suspect, identified as 31-year-old Shawn Laval Smith, was taken into custody after a woman in Pasadena, California reported seeing him outside of a restaurant.

Pasadena Police Lieutenant William Grisafe spoke to the New York Post about capturing Smith. He said:

“I can confirm officers from the Pasadena PD did take Mr. Smith into custody earlier today. We had been notified by a community member that they believed the wanted person was at the bus bench located at Colorado Boulevard and Fair Oaks Avenue.”

The Los Angeles Police Department expressed their gratitude for people in the community actively watching for Smith while he was on the run. They said:

“We would like to thank the public, the media, and our partners at Pasadena PD for their support in apprehending the suspect.”

Smith has a lengthy violent criminal history that spans several states throughout the country, including California, North Carolina, and South Carolina. According to Fox News, criminal records show that Smith had at least 11 arrests in Charleston, South Carolina starting as far back as 2010.

Even more concerning is that he is currently out on bond for allegedly shooting into an occupied vehicle in 2019.

Todd Kupfer, the father of the slain college student, Briana Kupfer, spoke to Fox News about the tragic incident and where he places the blame. He said:

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

Todd is hopeful that his daughter’s death will bring about change in the ways criminals are treated moving forward. He said:

“We can’t afford to have the good constantly knocked down by the bad. We need to champion [Briana] as a beacon of what’s wrong and make sure people recognize that – because it could be their children next, and it’s just an impossible price to pay.”

Todd and many others are now hoping that the Los Angeles County District Attorney, George Gascon, will take this case seriously and prosecute it to the fullest. Something that many people in his own office worry may not be the case.

Gascon has been the subject of discontent amongst law enforcement officers and victims since he first took office in 2020 over criminal justice and bail reform measures he implemented.

Some of the changes he made when he took office were the elimination of sentence enhancement charges, zero-bail policies, and refusal to prosecute any juvenile as an adult, regardless of the crime.

Gascon’s policies have driven top law enforcement officials to bypass his office and refer cases to the federal authorities, like with the murder of an off-duty Los Angeles Police officer.

In that case, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva bypassed Gascon’s office because he felt he would be too lenient on those arrested for the crime.

Gascon’s alleged weak on crime stance has been noticed in other areas as well, like property crimes. In December, Union Pacific Railroad reported a recent spike in cargo thefts that have been occurring in their railway stations.

Despite making arrests for some of the alleged offenders, the crime spree is continuing, leading the General Director of Public Affairs, Adrian Guerrero, to issue a letter to Gascon’s office asking for assistance. In the letter, Guerrero wrote:

“Criminals are caught and arrested, turned over to local authorities for booking, arraigned before the local courts, charges are reduced to a misdemeanor petty offense, and the criminal is released after paying a nominal fine.

“These individuals are generally caught and released back onto the streets in less than twenty-four hours. Even with all the arrests made, the no-cash bail policy and extended timeframe for suspects to appear in court is causing re-victimization to UP by these same criminals.”

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

LA Councilman who advocates for homeless such as killer of UCLA co-ed doesn’t want them in front of his office

The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

LOS ANGELES, CA- By now, you’ve no doubt heard about the 24-year-old UCLA college student, senselessly murdered as she worked in a furniture store in Los Angeles by yet another homeless lunatic.

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that big cities in the United States are unsafe cesspools full of criminals and degenerates.

And in the overwhelming majority of cases, those cities are run by Democrats.

Brianna Kupfer was in the prime of her life. By all accounts, she was an intelligent, fun-loving young woman who had her entire future ahead of her.

A Tuesday interview of her father on Fox & Friends went viral, with an emotional Steve Doocy barely able to get through the interview. For fathers of daughters, it was heart-wrenching. 


Yet this happens every day in our country. And the political class continues to ignore it.

That is the case in Los Angeles, where Brianna’s councilman Mike Bonin, a vocal opponent of “criminalizing homelessness” only believes in that where his constituents are concerned.

When it comes to himself and his convenience, however things are much different.

When Brianna was stabbed to death inside her workplace Friday in a totally unprovoked attack, ostensibly by a homeless man, the silence from Los Angeles city leaders over the weekend was deafening, as reported in RedState.

That silence continued up until Monday…not a word from Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Los Angeles’ inept Mayor Eric Garcetti, the feckless Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, or from her own city councilman, Mike Bonin.

It wasn’t until Brianna’s father appeared with Doocy in that heart-wrenching interview that amazingly the Los Angeles Police Department held a press conference and announced a reward for information on Brianna’s killer.

In that interview, Todd Kupfer criticized Los Angeles city officials for ignoring what is occurring right in front of them. It wasn’t until then that Bonin said something.

In a tepid post on Twitter, Bonin announced the LAPD’s $250,000 reward for Brianna’s killer, however as RedState noted, the post was akin to “passing along someone’s lost cat poster.”

There was no sense of outrage, no concern for the victim or her family. It was just, “hey, here’s your chance for a $250,000 reward.” But honestly, this is about what is expected from leftist politicians.


Bonin of course expressed no responsibility for Brianna’s murder which he called “heinous,” but it is policies of him and his ilk that have caused crime by the homeless in Los Angeles to spiral out of control.

Bonin is a fierce advocate for “rights” of homeless people while ignoring the rights of those who actually contribute to society, young women such as Brianna Kupfer.

Moreover, after the original wanted poster was issued, the information has been updated to give the suspect’s name and says, without actually saying so, that he is a vagabond homeless man.


The LAPD, which used surveillance video to identify the suspect, announced the suspect’s name as Shawn Laval Smith, 31 years old, however the release doesn’t specify a city of residence:

“Smith has been in Pasadena, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Covina, San Diego, San Francisco, and several other locations around Southern California.”

To the surprise of nobody, Smith was out on $1,000 bond for another criminal offense, Breitbart News reported. Unbelievable. 

The police department advised that Smith was “highly likely to be using public transportation” and warned that “special attention should be given to bus stops and train platforms.”

Bonin is apparently a former homeless (he calls it ‘unhoused) individual, and claims his so-called “lived experience” gives him a unique perspective on how to solve the problem of homelessness.

His proposal to solve the issue of homelessness is basically to ignore it. A directive was given to LAPD Chief Michel Moore in which his officers were told to “ignore” those breaking the “no camping” law on Venice Beach, which more resembles Calcutta than what used to be a beautiful LA beach.

Bonin also had Moore ask his officers to “stand in solidarity” with homeless who took over Echo Lake Park,  RedState noted.  

So bad did Venice Beach become last summer, overrun with human waste, trash and used drug paraphernalia that Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was forced to intervene and had things cleaned up last summer.

However the corrupt leftist LA County DA George Gascon will not prosecute misdemeanors, nor will he enforce loitering or trespassing citations. With all of that in mind, Los Angeles police officers have ceased enforcing such citations, and the problem has returned big time.

Bonin’s chief of staff wrote a tweet last week which unmasked what Bonin thinks of those who are so-called “anti-homeless” are “fascists” and that such beliefs are “rooted in hierarchy and elitism” and “advocate for authoritarianism.”

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