UCLA grad student, 24, is stabbed to death while working in LA furniture store: Homeless man knifes her in random attack before calmly walking out of back door

  • Brianna Kupfer was working alone in the Croft House store in Los Angeles 
  • A man believed to be homeless entered and stabbed the design student to death
  • Her friends and family paid tribute to the ‘angel’ who was ‘loved by all’

A UCLA grad student has been stabbed to death in a random attack while she was working in a luxury furniture store in Los Angeles.

Brianna Kupfer, 24, was alone in the Croft House store on La Brea Avenue when a man entered and knifed her.

The architectural design student from Pacific Palisades was discovered 20 minutes later by another customer after Thursday’s attack. 

Brianna Kupfer, 24, has been stabbed to death in a random attack while she was working in a luxury furniture store in Los Angeles

Police said the male suspect (pictured) is believed to be homeless and fled through the back door before calming walking down an alley

Brianna (centre right) leaves behind her mother, father, brothers Brandon and Tucker and her sister Mikaela, who was her best friend, her family said

By the time police arrived at the scene, she was already dead.

Police said the male suspect is believed to be homeless and fled through the back door before calming walking down an alley, adding that he did not know the victim.

Brianna was working in the furniture store as a design consultant after graduating from Brentwood High School and the University of Miami.

Her father told CBSLA she was ‘loved by all’ and was a talented artist. 

Riley Rea, co-owner of Croft House, told the LA Times that Brianna was beloved by her coworkers at the store where she had worked for a year.

She added: ‘She was mature beyond her years.’ 

The LAPD said in a statement: ‘The suspect is described as a male Black, unknown age, tall, thin, wearing a dark hoodie, sunglasses, a white N-95 mask, dark skinny jeans, dark shoes and carrying a dark back pack.

‘Based on evidence discovered by detectives, the suspect is believed to be homeless.’

Her father described as her an ‘angel’ and a clever young woman who was devoted to her family with big aspirations

Brianna was working in the furniture store (pictured) as a design consultant after graduating from from Brentwood High School and the University of Miami

The architectural design student from Pacific Palisades (pictured with her mother) was discovered 20 minutes later by another customer after Thursday’s attack

The grad student was alone in the Croft House store on La Brea Avenue when a customer entered and knifed her

Dr. Jennifer Botelho, the owner of a nearby chiropractic office, said the suspect entered her business shortly before the stabbing.

She said: ‘He came in and asked a couple of questions: “Do you do orthopedics here?” What kind of care we provide, and then he left. So he was just here for a few minutes.’

She added: ‘It’s terrifying. It’s horrible. She’s such a young girl. … We feel so horrible for Brianna’s family, and hope we can catch this guy.’ 

Her father described as her an ‘angel’ and a clever young woman who was devoted to her family with big aspirations.  

LA crime is on the upswing, according to police statistics. Shooting victims have increased 10.6 percent year-to-year and 53 percent from the same point in 2019

Brianna leaves behind her mother, father, brothers Brandon and Tucker and her sister Mikaela, who was her best friend, her family said. 

The killing comes amid a huge crime surge in Los Angeles, with its woke District Attorney George Gascon under fire for failing to crack down on the violence.

Homicides in the City of Angeles rose 52 per cent last year from 2019, and shooting incidents were up 59 per cent, according to LAPD data.  

The city has also suffered a shocking wave of follow-home robberies and organized smash-and-grab attacks on retailers. 

Jacqueline Avant, the 81 year-old wife of music producer Clarence Avant, became the most high-profile robbery victim when she was shot and killed at her $2.7 million Beverly Hills mansion in December. 

On January 3 in nearby San Jose, nine hammer-wielding thugs stormed a San Jose shopping center and smashed glass display cases at three stores before fleeing with $110,000 in jewelry.

Los Angeles police arrested 14 people last November in connection with 11 recent smash-and-grab robberies at stores, where nearly $340,000 worth of merchandise was stolen.

A Los Angeles Nordstrom, a Lululemon in Studio City, a Fairfax district store, and a CVS pharmacy in South Los Angeles were among the stores hit.

However, due to county’s zero-bail policies, the suspects were all released within hours of being handcuffed.

Gascon said of rising crime rates: ‘The reality is that we go through these cycles, and we go through the cycles for a variety of reasons … In many ways we cannot prosecute our way out of social inequalities, income inequalities, the unhoused, the desperation that we have.’ 

Gascon is currently embroiled in a row over a transgender woman who has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl, with the DA saying she could be allowed to serve her sentence under house arrest.

He refused to prosecute the 26-year-old Hannah Tubbs as an adult for the crime committed shortly two weeks before her 18th birthday. 

On New Year’s Eve in 2014, Tubbs spotted a 10-year-old girl at a Denny’s in Palmdale, California, followed her into the bathroom, held her by the throat and forced a hand down the girl’s pants. 

Gascon is refusing to sentence Tubbs as an adult because the defendant was 17 when the attack took place.

Jon Hatami, a prosecutor and supporter of the movement to recall Gascon, said Tubbs was too dangerous to be in the juvenile system.

‘This clearly shows you the dangerous aspect of the blanket policies of George Gascon,’ he said.

Separately, Gascon is facing another scandal after his own cops went over his head to ask federal prosecutors to charge the alleged killers of an off-duty LAPD officer.

The killing comes amid a huge crime surge in Los Angeles, with its woke District Attorney George Gascon under fire for failing to crack down on the violence

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva sought out the federal prosecution for the four gang members accused of killing Officer Fernando Arroyos, 27, on January 10 over fears pursing them through Gascon could lead to lighter sentencing.

Last year, Gascon axed sentencing enhancements – such as membership of a gang – that would have seen Arroyos’ alleged killers potentially jailed for life if convicted. 

California law stipulates a sentence of 25 years to life without parole, whereas Gascon’s reforms would see killers offered parole after completing their sentence. 

The federal charges they now face come with enhancements which automatically lengthen a sentence should the person be convicted to life without parole.

Gascon previously announced he had decided to no longer pursue sentencing enhancements in cases involving gangs as part of an increasingly controversial prison reform policy aimed at boosting ‘equity.’

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