LOS ANGELES (KGTV) — Police have arrested a man with San Diego ties, sought in connection with the brutal murder of a UCLA graduate student.
"She just really shined, and everybody people feel loved,” said Todd Kupfer.
Kupfer talking to Good Morning America on Tuesday and shared a father's grief.
“The sadness is pervasive, and it’s real, and just raw and tough,” said Kupfer.
Last Thursday afternoon, his 24-year-old daughter Brianna, a UCLA graduate student studying architectural design, was working alone at a high-end furniture store in Los Angeles.
Police say Shawn Laval Smith, 31, walked into the store, knifed Brianna to death and calmly walked back down an alley. On Tuesday, police identified Smith, believed to be homeless.
As the reward money climbed to more than $250,000, on Wednesday, Smith was arrested near an intersection in Pasadena.
On Tuesday, Kupfer reacted to police first identifying their suspect.
“At least it allows parents to sleep a little better at night … this individual is not out there threatening their children,” said Kupfer.
In the wake of the arrest, ABC 10News is learning more about Smith's criminal history, which includes a case in San Diego. According to court documents, in 2017, Smith was charged in San Diego with two counts: carrying a concealed dagger and using the knife in a threatening manner.
Smith pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of probation. Less than 4 years after those charges, the brutal murder unfolded in Los Angeles.
While he's not sure on the mission yet, Brianna's father says he hopes to start a foundation in her daughter's name.