Inside 7 failings in Brianna Kupfer death after it emerged suspect Shawn Laval Smith BIT a cop year before murder

A MURDER suspect allegedly bit a police officer in a series of apparent failings before the violent death of a 24-year-old grad student.

Shawn Laval Smith was charged with murder on Friday for allegedly stabbing 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer to death at a Los Angeles furniture store.

Police said Kupfer was working at the upscale store on January 13 when Smith allegedly walked in and attacked her in broad daylight.

Kupfer's father blasted crime in the area following his daughter's death, with others raising questions about actions that could've been taken before her killing.


It was revealed that Smith, 31, was accused of attacking a police officer during a January 20, 2021 arrest in California, just a year before Kupfer's tragic death.

Officers were looking for Smith after he allegedly jumped on top of an employee's car at a hamburger restaurant, causing $4,000 in damage, according to a report obtained by Fox News.

He tried to enter the fast-food joint but was blocked by a table.

Smith then went to a Starbucks, where he reportedly snatched a stranger's cellphone and tried to fight them as police arrived.

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Police said things became more violent when officers placed Smith in the back of a patrol car, with Smith reportedly yelling, "I’ll kill you! I'll kill you!"

Officer Jay Mulitauopele wrote in the arrest paperwork that he and two other cops pulled Smith from the car and tried to restrain him.

"He moved his head quickly and bit my right index finger latching on with full force," Mulitauopele was quoted as saying in the report. "I screamed in pain."

The officer said his hand was bleeding and had teeth marks on it.

Police found an orange flare gun with bullets, a knife, and a Nintendo Switch on Smith when they arrested him on suspicion of assault on a police officer, resisting an executive officer, and vandalism.


Fox News also detailed Smith's decade-long criminal history with previous charges in California, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Previous charges include assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, and possession of a stolen vehicle.

At least 11 arrests took place in Charleston, including a November 2019 case in which Smith was accused of firing a flare gun into a car occupied by a man and child.

Multiple instances of trespassing and a disorderly conduct accusation were also noted, and documents indicated Smith suffered from mental health issues.


Smith had an active warrant out of San Mateo County at the time of Kupfer's death, Fox News reported.

He was placed on probation on June 1, 2021 but had it revoked by November 30 over his alleged failure to uphold the terms of his release.

A judge issued a warrant for his arrest, which was active when Kupfer was killed, according to Fox News.


Smith had previously been released on a $50,000 bond in connection with allegedly firing a flare gun into an occupied car in Charleston in 2019.

He was banned from leaving South Carolina under the conditions of his release and it was unclear why his bond wasn't revoked following his 2021 California arrest, the New York Post reported.

Smith's most recent arrest came on January 19, 2022, when he was arrested by Pasadena police officers at a bus stop in connection with Kupfer's murder.


Police said Kupfer was stabbed to death in a seemingly random attack as she worked alone at the Croft House furniture store in Hancock Park around 1.50pm.

Investigators said a customer found her body inside the store and called 911.

“She was there by herself,“ Detective Herman Frettlohr said. “She was attacked by the suspect and she was killed."

In a news release, the Los Angeles Police Department said the victim didn’t know her attacker and there was no known motive at the time.


Police said Kupfer had apparently felt that something was off with a man who had walked into the store on the day of her murder.

He was seen walking around the area, entering several stores before visiting Croft House.

Lieutenant John Radke said Kupfer texted a friend, saying that there was someone inside the store who was “giving her a bad vibe.”

"Regrettably that person did not see the text immediately," the lieutenant said.

The 911 caller found her body about 15 minutes after she sent the text, local CBS affiliate KCAL reported.


Surveillance video from LAPD's homicide unit showed the suspect at a 7-Eleven store approximately 30 minutes after Kupfer was slain.

The man in a dark hoodie, sunglasses, and a white N-95 mask was seen walking into the store with a black backpack and interacting with the store clerk.

KCAL reported that workers at a restaurant across the street from where Smith was arrested on January 19 recognized him when he used the business’ bathroom.

“We’re just happy they got caught and justice needs to be served for her, the victim,” a worker told the news station.

Prosecutors said the 31-year-old alleged killer now faces a murder charge and a special allegation of use of dangerous or deadly use of a weapon, according to Fox News.

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