Brianna Kupfer Death Updates: New Photos of Suspect Released

Live Updates
  • Brianna Kupfer, a 24-year-old UCLA graduate student, was stabbed to death while working alone inside a Los Angeles luxury furniture store on Jan. 13.
  • The reward for information leading to an arrest tops $250,000, officials announced Tuesday.
  • Police say Kupfer was attacked inside Croft House in Hancock Park on North La Brea Avenue just before 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon. When officers arrived on scene, Kupfer was deceased on the floor, LAPD says.
  • Police released new surveillance video capturing the man believed to be the suspect. Detectives have since determined the attack was random and believe the suspect is homeless.
  • LAPD describe the suspect as a black man, tall and thin, wearing a dark hoodie, sunglasses, a white N-95 mask, dark skinny jeans, dark shoes and carrying a dark backpack.
Kupfer Killing
Brianna Kupfer was stabbed to death by an unknown assailant while working in a store on Jan. 13 in Los Angeles. Flowers are placed outside Croft House furniture store in memory of Kupfer. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

The live updates for this blog have ended.

New photos of suspect released

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) released new surveillance photos to Newsweek of the man suspected of killing 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer inside a Hancock Park furniture store on Jan. 13.

Kupfer murder suspect
Newly released surveillance photos show the man suspected of killing 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer. Los Angeles Police Department

The three photos show the suspect with a blue backpack, sunglasses and mask. LAPD describes the suspect as a tall and thin Black man with braided hair, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and black tennis shoes.

LAPD says the man should be considered armed and dangerous.

"If seen, do not approach. Call 911," the alert reads.

Police say the suspect didn't take anything from the store

The Los Angeles Police Department said that it appeared the suspect was a "random walk into the store".

Authorities also stated that nothing was taken from the store where Brianna Kupfer was killed.

"There is no known motive at this time," the LAPD said.

Family mourns loss of a 'kind soul' as manhunt continues

The family of Brianna Kupfer released an emotional statement remembering their "rising star," as the search for the man suspected in her death enters a fifth day.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz read the statement during Tuesday's press conference, prior to announcing the increased reward money topping $250,000, thanks to donations.

"It is with great sadness that our entire Kupfer family mourns the passing of our beautiful daughter Brianna as a result of this horrific attack," the statement began.

"Brianna, who was born, educated and was building her career here in Los Angeles, was a rising star in this community whose ascent was unnecessarily cut short by the actions of a heartless criminal last Thursday," the statement continued.

"In many ways, she embodied everything that is great about Los Angeles and the entire city should grieve over this senseless act."

"Brianna was a smart, funny, driven and kind soul who only wanted to better herself and her community on a daily basis. While she could be shy at times, she lit up any room she was in and strove to elevate everyone she met so they could be better versions of themselves," the family said about the 24-year-old.

"She deeply loved her family and friends and made every day better simply by her presence. We will miss her greatly and there won't be a day that goes by that we will not think of her."

The family then thanked the community, city leaders and law enforcement for the ongoing support and flood of donations.

"Please take the time to hug and cherish your family today as Brianna would have wanted and in her everlasting memory, work at the grassroots level to make our communities better every day," the letter concluded.

Police chief blames homicides on 'failed mental health system'

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the recent increase in homicides and violence in the city is a consequence of a "failed mental health system," substance abuse and the housing crisis.

During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Moore said that if someone is suffering from a mental health crisis, their only resource is 9-1-1, the police or the fire department.

"That is wrong," he said. "That has got to change."

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz added that California has abandoned mental health decades ago under the Reagan administration.

"It's time to take responsibility for people who are mentally ill," he said.

Moore also said the city has an obligation to address the lack of housing. He said the city should approach the issue with a combination of cleanup and sanitation efforts coupled with law enforcement to reduce the homeless population and deter people from staying homeless.

Dealing with mental health, substance abuse and housing will "ensure dangerous people are not allowed on our streets," Moore said.

Officials provide details on moments before Brianna's death

During a press conference authorities stated while working alone in the store, Brianna Kupfer texted a friend saying someone was getting a bad vibe. Police say that friend did not see the text immediately.

Authorities also revealed that the suspect was in the furniture store for several minutes.

A customer found Kupfer lifeless, covered in blood.

Police believe the suspect walked for miles around the neighborhood following the deadly stabbing.

Reward tops $250K for information leading to arrest

A reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) responsible for the death of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer now tops $250,000, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz announced during a press conference Tuesday.

Koretz read a statement from the family, thanking the Westside community for the ''outpouring of support,'' saying donations have now exceeded $200,000 towards the apprehension and conviction of the suspect(s).

Anonymous donors added $35,000 in reward money, one donation of $25,000 and another of $10,000. Koretz additionally introduced a motion during Tuesday morning's city council meeting, calling for a $50,000 reward.

"This is not only about bringing that person who committed this crime to justice, but in its core, making the community safer and ensuring that it never happens again," Koretz said.

A new image of the suspect was also released, showing the man in glasses and a mask.

City Councilman to speak at news conference

Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz will attend the news conference on the killing of Brianna Kupfer.

Koretz represents Los Angeles City Council District 5 that includes much of the Westside and the Greater Wilshire/Handcock Park neighborhood.

He said the "tragic murder" of Kupfer has shaken the community "to its core."

"There are no words that can express the deep sorrow and sadness that has engulfed us all," he said in a statement Thursday. "My family's prayers are with Brianna's family and friends at this time, with my commitment and reassurance that we will find the perpetrator who committed this heinous act and bring him to justice."

Koretz previously said he and other city officials are working with law enforcement during the investigation.

"LAPD is aware of my full and unconditional support to bring the perpetrator to justice," he said.

Koretz will join LAPD Chief Michel Moore and a representative for the Kupfer family.

LA homicide rates reach highest levels in 15 years

Homicides rates in Los Angeles are at the highest levels in 15 years, with nearly 400 deaths reported in 2021, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Michel Moore said during the city's annual end-of-year news conference.

LAPD held a press conference on Jan. 13 to provide an update on public safety measures and outline strategies to address ongoing challenges across the city.

Moore reported an 11.8% increase in homicides in 2021, totaling 397, noting the figure as the highest since 2007.

Moore said eight out of 10 homicides reported in Los Angeles involved gang members or people experiencing homelessness.

Moore also said people experiencing homelessness were increasingly victimized in 2021, homicides increased by 22% among the homeless population.

"When you look at the increase between last year and this year, it's entirely made up of those two categories," Moore said.

"It makes up eight out of 10 of our homicide victims, which is why it's so critically important that we recognize the public health and the public safety emergencies that both of those areas represent."

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"The last two years have been the most difficult of our life," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at Thursday's press conference. "Los Angeles is not unique, that's happened across this country and throughout the world."

Garcetti referenced the "profound" impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health, mental health, isolation and violence.

"If you are the victim of a crime, stats mean very little to you," Garcetti said.

"The only statistic that matters is the experience you've had."

Authorities will hold press conference offering reward for suspect's arrest

The West Bureau homicide detectives in Los Angeles are asking the public's help for information identifying and locating the suspect in a deadly killing of Brianna Kupfer.

Authorities will announce a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect in a press conference at 1 p.m. PST.

Here's how to watch: CBS Los Angeles

Security guard describes moment after Kupfer was found

A security guard who works across the street from the Croft Furniture store described the moment Brianna's Kupfer's body was found by two costumers Thursday afternoon.

"I saw them walk out and I just see sheer terror," Herman Hinks told KABC. "She was screaming like 'Oh my God, oh my God.'

He said he tried to make his way over to them but there was too much traffic. Then the police "came from everywhere."

"When I walked that way, you could see through the window and when I looked down, I said 'oh my God,' that's the young lady that works at the store," Hinks said.

Hinks said he saw Kupfer "every morning."

"She come in, she opens the shop," he said. "She'll look back and wave."

Hinks said Kupfer was a "really friendly woman."

"Everybody over here is friendly," he said. "We look out for one another in the area. Keeping a close eye out. Just because there is a lot of transients that come through."

Doctor with office next to furniture store says suspect visited her office

A doctor with an office next to The Croft House furniture store where Brianna Kupfer was killed stated that, the suspect visited her establishment before the 24-year-old was found dead.

"We've had at least four people over the last year or so that have come into the office and their actions and words were not right and didn't have good intentions", the doctor said.

Elderly nurse killed by a homeless man just hours before

A 70-year-old nurse was killed at a bus stop in Downtown Los Angeles early Thursday by a homeless man, police say, just hours before 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer was killed inside a Hancock Park furniture store. Police believe the man suspected of killing Kupfer is also homeless.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) says Sandra Shells was struck in the face "without provocation and for no reason" while waiting at the stop near Union Station just after 5 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 13.

Her skull was fractured in the attack, Shells died from her injuries on Sunday, LAPD said.

Shortly after the attack, police identified the suspect as Kerry Bell, who was sleeping nearby, and took him into custody. Investigators say Bell has one prior arrest in Los Angeles and several prior arrests in other states.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore called the murder "tragic and senseless."

"A tragic and senseless murder directly tied to the failure of this Nation's mental health resources," Moore tweeted. "We can and must do better. This victim lived her life for others. We are falling short."

Todd Kupfer calls on politicians to spread love, goodness in communities

Todd Kupfer, Brianna's father, said he does not blame specific politicians for the crime against his daughter, but he wants elected officials to do more to keep bad people out of communities.

"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," Kupfer said.

He said politicians should be "celebrating the good in people" and focus on making communities better.

"The job [politicians] have...is not to tear down communities by exposing them to people that are falling out of the bottom that really don't care about other human beings and think they can do whatever they like in our society and are doing it more and more in every community," Kupfer said.

Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy added there is "often little consequence for crime."

Kupfer said he agreed with Doocy "100 percent."

"We don't elect [politicians] because we think they're great. We elect them because we think they can do great things," he added.

Ultimately, Kupfer's message was to spread love.

"Everybody needs to love each other more," he said.

That love will, in turn, spill out into communities.

"We need to start small...start at home," he said. "Show love to everyone around you, especially your children."

LAPD to announce $50,000 reward for information

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is expected to announce a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) responsible for the death of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer.

LAPD is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. local time to announce the reward.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, LAPD Chief of Police Michel Moore and a representative of the Kupfer family will be in attendance.

"West Bureau Homicide Detectives are asking the public's help for information identifying and locating the suspect in a deadly stabbing, which occurred on January 13, 2022 and will announce a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect," LAPD wrote in a statement.

Memorial grows outside of furniture store as manhunt continues

A memorial continues to grow outside of Croft House in Hancock Park Tuesday, the furniture store where Brianna Kupfer was murdered on Jan. 13.

Brianna Kupfer Memorial
Flowers are placed outside Croft House furniture store in memory of graduate student Brianna Kupfer on Jan. 17. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

A line of flowers and candles lay across the storefront in honor of the 24-year-old UCLA grad student. Croft House placed a photo of Kupfer on a display table in the store window alongside a large flower arrangement.

Kupfer memorial outside of Croft House
Flowers are placed outside Croft House furniture store in Los Angeles in memory of graduate student Brianna Kupfer, Kupfer was stabbed to death inside the store on Jan 13. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

In a note taped on the window, Croft House shared their grief, noting the showroom will be closed until further notice amid the investigation and as the team processes the "unthinkable tragedy."

"Please keep family, friends, and colleagues in close thought during this difficult time as we mourn, cherish, miss and honor someone we cared for so much," Croft House wrote.

Kupfer memorial grows outside of Croft House
Flowers and candles are placed outside Croft House furniture store in memory of Brianna Kupfer. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Police ask anyone with information to contact West Bureau Homicide investigators at (213) 382-9470.

Store where Kupfer was murdered releases a statement

The store where Brianna Kupfer was employed when she was murdered released a statement expressing their devastation of the loss of Brianna.

The Croft House stated that their La Brea Avenue showroom will be closed until further notice to allow other team members employed there to grieve and to allow law enforcement to complete their investigation.

They asked that all questions related to the "tragic" incident be directed to LAPD.

Kupfer's father said Brianna was a role model to young people

Brianna Kupfer's father Todd joined Fox & Friends Tuesday morning to honor the memory of his daughter.

He said the police are working diligently but had no further update on the ongoing investigation.

Fox host Steve Doocy mentioned Brianna was not supposed to be working the day she was killed in a Los Angeles furniture store.

Kupfer said his daughter was a "dedicated person."

"I don't know why she was alone," he said. "No one could have anticipated this could have possibly happened there."

He added that he did not know why she was alone in the store that day, but does not blame anyone for her death but the perpetrator.

Kupfer said his daughter was a role model to young people.

"We want her 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," he said. "She embodied so much that we all should be proud of in a young woman."