Police in California have released the audio of the 911 call that led to the arrest of the career criminal charged with the murder of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer, who was stabbed to death inside the furniture store where she worked.
Kupfer was killed on January 13 at Croft House, an upscale furniture store on North La Brea Avenue in central Los Angeles.
Police announced on Tuesday that their main suspect was Shawn Laval Smith, 31, a homeless South Carolina native known for attacking police officers and strangers, who had a rap sheet of at least 11 arrests in his home state and two in California.
On Wednesday, a man recognized Smith near a bus stop in Pasadena and called the police, saying he was wearing the same distinctive backpack as that seen when he bought a vape pen in a 7-Eleven store – just 30 minutes after Kupfer’s murder.
‘Hello, I am calling because I see a gentleman who looks very similar to the suspect in the Kupfer stabbing in L.A.,’ the caller states.
‘I’m in Pasadena. He just walked past the corner of Green and Terrace, in Pasadena.’
Surveillance video released by the police captured the man identified as Smith strolling into a 7-Eleven located at Beverly Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard – about four miles from the crime scene – and handing a sales clerk cash to buy a vape pen.
The man in the video, wearing all black, except for a white dust mask commonly worn by house painters, does not appear in a hurry as he places a bill on the counter and counts a handful of coins.
At one point, he briefly lowers his mask.
The store worker hands him the vape pen and the suspect walks away, but he immediately returns and apparently asks to exchange the vaping device for another one.
The Los Angeles Police Department announced that Smith was arrested at around 11:50 am on Wednesday.
The caller said he saw Smith in a black hoodie, dark sweatpants and an eye-catching backpack.
Smith initially gave a fake name, and the LAPD sent its fugitive unit with a fingerprint reader to Pasadena to confirm Smith’s identity with the device.
The LAPD received more than 1,000 tips since the senseless killing, the source said.
Smith was taken into custody about 15 miles from the high-end furniture store where Kupfer was killed.