KEY POINTS

  • Brianna Kupfer was working alone when a man entered the store and stabbed her
  • Her body was found by another customer a while later
  • A $250,000 reward was announced for information leading to the suspect's arrest

A 24-year-old student who was stabbed to death last week had texted her friend that she had a "bad vibe" about a man in her store before she was killed.

The Los Angeles Police Department said an unidentified homeless man entered the Croft House store on North La Brea Avenue and stabbed Brianna Kupfer to death on Jan. 13. Police believe it was "a random act of violence." The victim was working alone in the store when she was attacked. Her body was found by another customer at the luxury furniture store a while later, New York Post reported. 

Investigators found that Kupfer, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, had texted a friend just before she was killed, saying a man in the store was "giving her a bad vibe."

"At 1.36 p.m. in the afternoon, Brianna was working in this store all by herself. She sent a text to a friend letting her know that there was someone inside the location that was giving her 'a bad vibe,'" Lt. John Radtke of the LAPD's West Bureau Homicide division said in a press conference Tuesday, PEOPLE reported. 

"Regrettably, that person did not see the text immediately. And at 1:50 p.m., a citizen who was coming into the store, a customer, found Brianna lying on the ground lifeless, covered in blood," he added.

Authorities released CCTV footage that showed the suspect behind the attack. The suspect was described as a tall man with braided hair. He was last seen wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and black tennis shoes. Cops believe he is armed and dangerous.

Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz said the suspect will be "prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

A reward of $250,000 was also announced for information leading to his arrest. The victim's family thanked people who contributed to the fund.

"It is with great sadness that the entire Kupfer family mourns the passing of our beautiful daughter Brianna as a result of this horrific attack. Brianna, who was born, educated and was building her career here in Los Angeles, was a rising star in this community whose ascent was unnecessarily cut short by the actions of a heartless criminal last Thursday. In many ways, she embodied everything that is great about Los Angeles, and the entire city should grieve over this senseless act," the family said in a statement.

crime scene Representative image Photo: Wikimedia Commons