The devastated father of a UCLA grad student who was stabbed to death in broad daylight last week while working in a luxury LA furniture store is slamming politicians for ignoring the recent spike in violent crime.
‘We have a lot of politicians that somehow forgot about people and think the key to getting elected is to support the lowest rung of our society and to give them rights and somehow that’s the answer to getting votes,’ Todd Kupfer told Fox News.
Kupfer’s 24-year-old daughter, Brianna Kupfer, was murdered last Thursday when a male suspect, who is believed to be homeless, walked into Croft House around 1:50 p.m. and stabbed her to death. He then fled through the back door before calmly walking down an alley.
The architectural design student from Pacific Palisades was discovered 20 minutes later by a customer. She died at the scene before help could arrive.
The LAPD determined that it was a random attack and the suspect did not know the victim. Police say he was wearing a dark hoodie, sunglasses, a white N-95 mask, and carrying a dark back pack.
‘Crime is truly spiking, and we have a lot of criminals on the streets that shouldn’t be out,’ Kupfer’s father told Fox News.
His daughter had been working as a design consultant at the high-end furniture store popular with celebrities like Mandy Moore, whose Pasadena home features a Croft House sofa, according to Architectural Digest.
‘She was a kind soul and always was trying to make herself better and everything around her better,’ Kupfer, said as he fought back tears. ‘She cared about people.’
The murder comes amid a huge crime surge in Los Angeles, with homicides in Los Angeles rising 52 per cent last year from 2019, and shooting incidents were up 59 per cent, according to LAPD data.
Kupfer says he believes politicians are ignoring this spike in violent crime.
‘We need to champion [my daughter] as a beacon of what’s wrong and make sure that people recognize that – because it could be their children next, and it’s just an impossible price to pay,’ he said.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is under fire for failing to crack down on the recent spike in violence.
He won over voters last year with promises of sweeping criminal justice reforms that critics say put the interests of criminals before the safety of the community, Fox News reported.
Brianna Kupfer, 24, was stabbed to death in a random attack last Thursday while she was working in a luxury furniture store in Los Angeles
LA crime is on the upswing, according to police statistics. Shooting victims have increased 10.6 percent year-to-year and 53 percent from the same point in 2019
The killing comes amid a huge crime surge in Los Angeles, with its woke District Attorney George Gascon under fire for failing to crack down on the violence
The city has also suffered a shocking wave of follow-home robberies and organized smash-and-grab attacks on retailers.
Jacqueline Avant, the 81 year-old wife of music producer Clarence Avant, became the most high-profile robbery victim when she was shot and killed at her $2.7 million Beverly Hills mansion in December.
On January 3 in nearby San Jose, nine hammer-wielding thugs stormed a San Jose shopping center and smashed glass display cases at three stores before fleeing with $110,000 in jewelry.
Los Angeles police arrested 14 people last November in connection with 11 recent smash-and-grab robberies at stores, where nearly $340,000 worth of merchandise was stolen.
A Los Angeles Nordstrom, a Lululemon in Studio City, a Fairfax district store, and a CVS pharmacy in South Los Angeles were among the stores hit.
However, due to county’s zero-bail policies, the suspects were all released within hours of being handcuffed.
Gascon said of rising crime rates: ‘The reality is that we go through these cycles, and we go through the cycles for a variety of reasons … In many ways we cannot prosecute our way out of social inequalities, income inequalities, the unhoused, the desperation that we have.’
Police said the male suspect (pictured) is believed to be homeless and fled through the back door before calming walking down an alley
The architectural design student from Pacific Palisades was alone in the Croft House store on La Brea Avenue in LA’s upscale Fairfax neighborhood when a man entered around 1:50 p.m. and stabbed her. She was found 20 minutes later by a customer
Gascon is currently embroiled in a row over a transgender woman who has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl, with the DA saying she could be allowed to serve her sentence under house arrest.
He refused to prosecute the 26-year-old Hannah Tubbs as an adult for the crime committed shortly two weeks before her 18th birthday.
On New Year’s Eve in 2014, Tubbs spotted a 10-year-old girl at a Denny’s in Palmdale, California, followed her into the bathroom, held her by the throat and forced a hand down the girl’s pants.
Gascon is refusing to sentence Tubbs as an adult because the defendant was 17 when the attack took place.
Jon Hatami, a prosecutor and supporter of the movement to recall Gascon, said Tubbs was too dangerous to be in the juvenile system.
‘This clearly shows you the dangerous aspect of the blanket policies of George Gascon,’ he said.
Separately, Gascon is facing another scandal after his own cops went over his head to ask federal prosecutors to charge the alleged killers of an off-duty LAPD officer.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva sought out the federal prosecution for the four gang members accused of killing Officer Fernando Arroyos, 27, on January 10 over fears pursing them through Gascon could lead to lighter sentencing.
Last year, Gascon axed sentencing enhancements – such as membership of a gang – that would have seen Arroyos’ alleged killers potentially jailed for life if convicted.
California law stipulates a sentence of 25 years to life without parole, whereas Gascon’s reforms would see killers offered parole after completing their sentence.
The federal charges they now face come with enhancements which automatically lengthen a sentence should the person be convicted to life without parole.
Gascon previously announced he had decided to no longer pursue sentencing enhancements in cases involving gangs as part of an increasingly controversial prison reform policy aimed at boosting ‘equity.’
A memorial for Kupfer has formed outside the Croft House in the days following the deadly attack
A heartfelt note posted to the store’s window this week talks about how Kupfer was beloved by her coworkers
Riley Rea, co-owner of Croft House, told the LA Times that Brianna was beloved by her coworkers at the store where she had worked for a year.
She added: ‘She was mature beyond her years.’
A heartfelt note was posted to the store’s window this week that reads: ‘The entire Croft House family is deeply saddened by the devastating loss of our beloved team member on January 13, 2022. Our La Brea Avenue showroom will be closed until further notice to allow our team members to grieve and process this unthinkable tragedy and in order for law enforcement to complete their investigation.
Please keep the family, friends, and colleagues in close thought during this difficult time as we mourn, cherish, miss, and honor someone we care for so much. The entire Croft House family sends our love to our team member’s family and friends. Please direct all questions related to this tragic event to the LAPD.’
At the bottom of the page is a handwritten note that reads: ‘We love you so much.’
Dr. Jennifer Botelho, the owner of a nearby chiropractic office, said the suspect entered her business shortly before the stabbing.
She said: ‘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 added: ‘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.’
Her father described as her an ‘angel’ and a clever young woman who was devoted to her family with big aspirations.
Brianna leaves behind her mother, father, brothers Brandon and Tucker and her sister Mikaela, who was her best friend, her family said.
Brianna (centre right) leaves behind her mother, father, brothers Brandon and Tucker and her sister Mikaela, who was her best friend, her family said