Autopsy results reveal that UCLA graduate student Brianna Kupfer was stabbed 26 times at a luxury Los Angeles furniture store in January.
On Jan. 13, after 1 p.m., Kupfer was working by herself at the Croft House furniture store on North La Brea Ave. in Hancock Park when Shawn Laval Smith, 31, came into the store and fatally stabbed her, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
The autopsy, which was performed on Jan. 18, showed that Kupfer suffered 26 stab wounds including in the abdomen, pelvis, arms and legs, according to the report obtained.
She was stabbed 11 times in the chest, which punctured both her lungs, according to the report.
Just before the fatal attack, Kupfer “sent a text to a friend letting her know that there was someone inside the location that was giving her a bad vibe,” LAPD Lt. John Radke said, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. “Regrettably, that person did not see the text immediately.”
A customer who came into the store 15 minutes after Kupfer sent the text found her lying on the floor, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
After the attack, the LAPD released video footage of an unidentified man they believed was involved in Kupfer’s murder, calling him armed and dangerous.
Police launched a manhunt, offering a $250,000 reward for the capture of the young woman’s killer.
Authorities quickly identified the man in the video as Smith and arrested him on Jan. 19 in Pasadena, Calif., according to the LAPD.
According to a statement from the LAPD, Kupfer’s attacker stabbed her with a knife before fleeing out the back door.
Authorities determined that the suspect had walked into the store at random and did not know the victim. The killer’s motive remains unclear.
Kupfer was a graduate student at UCLA who was studying architectural design.
“I’m absolutely devastated for her and her family,” Riley Rea, a co-owner of the furniture store where Kupfer worked, told the Los Angeles Times. “It just seems so disgusting and unexpected. Really there are no words to say how shocked we are to lose such a wonderful person.”
Smith is charged with murder.
Criminal proceedings in the case were suspended while authorities await the results of Smith’s mental health evaluation, Fox News reported.
Smith’s attorneys did not immediately respond to request for comment.