HANCOCK PARK (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Police Department officers are still searching for the suspect in the fatal stabbing of Brianna Kupfer, which took place on Thursday afternoon in Hancock Park.
Kupfer, 24, was working alone at Croft House on La Brea Avenue, when police say she was approached by the suspect who entered the establishment and stabbed her. She was not found until another customer arrived at the store and reported the incident to authorities. When they arrived on the scene, she was already dead.
She graduated from both Brentwood High School and the University of Miami, before returning to the Southland in pursuit of an architectural design degree from UCLA. Kupfer's father spoke with CBS reporters on Friday, making it clear that Brianna was a gifted artist and listener who was "loved by all."
A growing memorial could be seen outside of Croft House on Friday, as friends, family and local residents paid their respects to Kupfer, who was tragically murdered in what authorities are referring to as a random attack.
Investigators have disclosed that the suspect is tall and thin, and was last seen wearing all black with a N95 mask. After the assault, he fled the scene through the backdoor of the business into an alley that headed towards Oakwood Avenue and La Brea Avenue.
Dr. Jennifer Botelho, who owns a chiropractic practice next to the business, told CBS that the suspect also entered her practice just moments before the fatal stabbing, detailing that "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 offered her condolences for Brianna and her family, "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."
Authorities have deployed additional units in the area in response to the tragedy, but Botelho had already taken her own precautions in lieu of the rising crime rates in the city. In the last year, she's beefed up on her security, and also added a buzzer to her door, noting that, "We've had at least four people or so in the last year who've come into the office – by their actions and words were just not right and did not have good intentions."
Friends of Kupfer's who spoke to reporters off camera remembered Brianna for her loving relationship with her family, detailing how "the world has been robbed of a productive member of society - who glowed with positivity."
She leaves behind her mother, father, two brothers, Brandon and Tucker and her sister Mikaela - who was her best friend.
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