Brianna Kupfer, the 24-year-old California grad student who was stabbed to death while working at a furniture store last week, sent an eerie text message to a friend just before she was killed. 

In a press conference on Tuesday, Los Angeles police said Kupfer texted her friend there was a man in the store with a “bad vibe” around 1:30 p.m. on Jan 13. 

Moments later, authorities believe, the unknown man stabbed Kupfer to death. He fled through the back door, and another shopper found his victim unresponsive in a pool of blood only 15 minutes later. 

Kupfer’s killer remains at large, according to the LAPD. A combined reward of $250,000 is offered for any information that leads to his arrest. 

Killer Had ‘Bad Vibe’

It’s not clear what occurred in the furniture store before Kupfer’s killing that gave her a “bad vibe,” though investigators have said the suspect may have wandered the shop floor for up to 15 minutes before attacking the 24-year-old grad student with a knife. 

The killer, who police believe may be homeless, reportedly did not steal anything from the store or the cash registers before or after the attack. Authorities have found no prior connection between the pair and have not revealed an apparent motive, calling the slaying a “a random act of violence.”

Brianna Kupfer stabbed to death
Police suspect the killing of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer was ‘random’ with no apparent motive. Photo Credit: Facebook)

Police have provided a suspect description — Kupfer’s killer is said to be “a male Black, unknown age, tall, thin, wearing a dark hoodie, sunglasses, a white N-95 mask, dark skinny jeans, dark shoes and carrying a dark backpack” — but have not said whether surveillance cameras inside the store captured the attack on video. 

On Tuesday, LAPD released security footage from nearby a business where the suspect stopped after Kupfer’s murder. The assailant is seen shopping at a 7-11 convenience store and exiting without incident, just a half an hour after investigators said he stabbed a young woman to death. 

This man, believed to be the killer of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer, gave the grad student a 'bad vibe,' according to a text sent moments before her death.
This man, believed to be the killer of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer, gave the grad student a ‘bad vibe,’ according to a text sent moments before her death. Photo credit: LAPD

Family, Community Mourn Brianna Kupfer

In an interview on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning, Kupfer’s father Todd said the slain grad student was a “rising star.”

“We want her to be remembered as a person, a human being and a caring, loving and devoted family member and a great friend,” he told the network. “She embodied so much that we all should be proud of in a young woman.”

Originally from Pacific Palisades, California, Kupfer was a graduate of the University of Miami, and had moved back to the Golden State to study architectural design at the University of California, Los Angeles some time before her death. 

The 24-year-old was working at the Croft House, the furniture store where she was murdered, for about a year. In a statement, store management wrote they were “deeply saddened by the devastating loss of our beloved team member.”

Meanwhile, public figures argued that Kupfer’s horrifying murder was the result of systemic issues left unaddressed. 

“I am both horrified and devastated to hear about a 24-year-old woman who was stabbed to death by a customer,” said Los Angeles mayoral candidate Jessica Lall in a video posted to social media. 

Brianna Kupfer stabbed to death
Friends, family and the Los Angeles community expressed their grief for Brianna Kupfer, stabbed to death by a customer at work last week. In a text sent to friends moments before she was murdered, Kupfer said the lone male customer in her store gave off a ‘bad vibe.’ Photo credit: Facebook

“The response — or lack thereof — to the stabbing of Brianna Kupfer […] is absolutely maddening. We need leaders in office who are prepared to step up when such tragedies occur,” Lall added. 

Karen Bass, another LA mayoral hopeful, said that crime prevention should be a priority for city leadership. 

“The continuing occurrence of brazen attacks, robberies, and murders like the murder of Brianna Kupfer in Hancock Park this past week, cannot be allowed to terrorise this city,” Bass argued

But for the family Brianna Kupfer leaves behind, nothing will undo the horrific loss.

“Rest in peace Brianna,” wrote her brother Tucker on Instagram. “We’ll never forget you.”