Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch
LA Police Protective League


Los Angeles
Police Protective League
the union that represents the
rank and file LAPD officers

  Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch

Daily News Digest
from LA Police Protective League

August 3, 2022
Law Enforcement News

UCLA Student Brianna Kupfer Stabbed 26 Times In Deadly Hancock Park Attack, Autopsy Shows
A UCLA student working in an upscale Hancock Park furniture store was stabbed 26 times and bled out in a brutal attack in January, her autopsy revealed. Brianna Kupfer, 24, was working alone on Jan. 13 inside the Croft House furniture store in the 300 block of North La Brea Avenue when a man entered the store, attacked her and stabbed her to death, authorities said. Kupfer received 46 sharp-force injuries in the attack, according to the coroner's report. Her injuries included 11 stab wounds to her chest, two to her abdomen, one to her pelvis and seven to her arms. She also was sliced in at least 20 places on her body, the autopsy shows. Her attacker inflicted so many wounds — many of them 5 inches deep — that Kupfer died from exsanguination, according to the autopsy. Her aorta, liver, lungs and stomach were repeatedly penetrated by a sharp blade, a medical examiner said in determining the death was a homicide. Shawn Laval Smith, a transient man with a history of mental illness and a lengthy criminal record that stretched from coast to coast, was charged with murder and the use of a deadly weapon in Kupfer's death after a massive manhunt led to his arrest in Pasadena. Police had circulated his photo, and a $250,000 reward was offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction. Los Angeles Times

Body Of Woman, 81, Found After Fire Erupts At Woodland Hills Home; Murder Investigation Underway
The body of an 81-year-old woman was found after a fire erupted at a home in Woodland Hills that had been ransacked, prompting authorities to launch a murder investigation. Firefighters responded shortly after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to a 1,404-square-foot residence in the 20000 block of West Marth Street, where they found evidence of a fire that had already been extinguished before their arrival, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Police were summoned to the scene and relatives told officers that there the woman's was body inside the home where she lived alone, said Officer Tony Im of the Los Angeles Police Department. The victim was later identified as Ok Ja Kim. The official cause of death was not immediately disclosed. Investigators discovered evidence of forced entry at the single-story residence, Im said. The number of possible suspects involved in the crime was unknown. Police investigators said they believe the crime occurred sometime between Monday morning and Tuesday evening. ABC 7

Investigation Underway In Tujunga After Man Found Shot To Death In Vehicle
Authorities were investigating a shooting death in Tujunga early Tuesday morning. The incident was first reported at around 12:45 a.m. in the the 8100 block of Foothill Boulevard, where Los Angeles Police Department officers were dispatched after reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they found a man suffering from a fatal gunshot wound to the head, sitting inside of a parked vehicle. The victim, a 51-year-old Palmdale resident, was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was withheld notification of next of kin. "Detectives were advised a witness was riding his bike and observed the victim in his vehicle unconscious and called 911," police said in a statement early Tuesday afternoon. "Detectives are in the process of viewing surveillance video from the area as well as canvassing the area for witnesses and additional evidence." The circumstances surrounding the shooting were not immediately clear, and there was no information available on a potential suspect in the incident.  CBS 2

Ex-Con Charged With Shooting Gun Into Hollywood Farmers' Market
Criminal charges have been filed against an ex-convict who allegedly fired shots near the Hollywood Farmers' Market, causing the popular establishment to shut down, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday. Joseph DeLaCruz, 42, is charged with one felony count each of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, first-degree burglary with a person present, criminal threats, possession of a firearm by a felon, unlawful possession of ammunition, vandalism causing $400 or more in damage or destruction of property and discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, according to the District Attorney's Office. DeLaCruz allegedly threatened a woman with a gun on Sunday and later began shooting from his apartment's balcony in the 1600 block of Cosmo Street, one block east of the intersection of Cahuenga and Hollywood boulevards, damaging buildings and a vehicle, according to the District Attorney's Office. Officers arrived to see the suspect yelling and throwing out items from the balcony of his apartment, Los Angeles police said. No injuries were reported. "It's extremely fortunate that no one was injured in this brazen act of violence," District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement announcing the charges against DeLaCruz. "We cannot tolerate the indiscriminate firing of a weapon into an area frequented by so many innocent members of our community. Everyone should be able to enjoy a Sunday morning without being worried about being struck by a random bullet." FOX 11

Paramount Shooting Leaves 1 Dead, 3 Hurt
A shooting at 11 a.m. in the city of Paramount left one person dead and three others injured, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Monday. Investigators were trying to figure out what happened in the early afternoon shooting in the 3800 block of Paramount Boulevard. A man was found dead at the scene, while three others were taken to the hospital. Anyone with information on the fatal shooting is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or go to . NBC 4

Brutal Crowbar Attack Caught On Video In Lynwood
A man who allegedly attacked two people with a large metal object in Lynwood in late June is being sought by authorities. The incidents unfolded about 8:30 p.m. on June 30, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. A man was walking in the 3300 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard with his wife when he saw a white work truck pull into a driveway and park. The suspect got out of the truck holding a large metal object described as possibly being a tire iron and approached the victim while “making racial comments,” authorities detailed in a news release. “Without warning, the suspect attacked the victim with the metal object, striking him in the leg and upper body,” according to the Sheriff's Department. The assailant then chased the victim and his wife across the street before returning to his vehicle. He was seen heading south on Long Beach Boulevard. In a second incident moments later, the victim was walking north on the 11300 block of Long Beach Boulevard when he saw the suspect drive past him. The man continued walking and was attacked by the suspect from behind while entering a business, video released by the Sheriff's Department shows. KTLA 5

Man, 24, With Schizophrenia Reported Missing In Compton
Authorities sought the public's help Tuesday to locate a 24-year-old man with schizophrenia who was last seen in Compton. Jose Diaz Jr. was last seen at about 7 p.m. Saturday in the 2200 block of East Hatchway Street, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Diaz is Hispanic, 5-feet-7 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds, with straight black hair, brown eyes and a goatee. Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to contact the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at .

Over 40 lbs. Of Cocaine Worth $700,000 Seized In San Bernardino County
A suspected drug dealer was arrested after deputies seized over 40 pounds of suspected cocaine worth an estimated $700,000 in San Bernardino County. Deputies in Grand Terrace contacted the suspect, 40-year-old Ulises Solis-Diaz, who had active warrants and was in possession of illegal drug paraphernalia, officials said. A search of Diaz's car led to the discovery of a bag containing suspected fentanyl pills, ammunition, and a "Slim Jim" burglary tool. Diaz was also found to be in possession of a second vehicle, which when searched yielded about 19 packages containing suspected cocaine and multiple scales associated with the sales of narcotics. Diaz was booked into the Central Detention Center, where he is being held in lieu of $2,050,000 bail. Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Deputy J. Holt of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Central Station at (909)387-3545. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME. FOX 11

Deputy Who Was Conducting Traffic Stop Dies After Driver Slams Into Him
A deputy was killed Friday after an alleged drunk driver rammed his vehicle into the officer who was outside of his cruiser conducting a traffic stop. Smith County Sheriff's Deputy Lorenzo Bustos, 29, had his cruiser pulled over with its lights activated with two people handcuffed in the back. Bustos, who was standing several feet behind the vehicle, was working the stop with Deputy Michael Skinner, who was inside the vehicle on the passenger side, the Longview News-Journal reported. After nearly 30 minutes into the traffic stop, a driver hit Bustos with his vehicle, which was traveling at a "very moderate to fast speed," according to police. Bustos was pushed under the cruiser and suffered severe head trauma. He was transported to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries. "He had become to be very loved by all of his cohorts and co-workers. He was doing a great job," Sheriff Larry Smith said, noting Bustos had only been with the department for about six months. Skinner was released from the hospital with minor injuries. The driver was arrested and charged with intoxication assault, which was later upgraded to intoxication manslaughter, the Longview News-Journal reported. PoliceOne

Mexico City Police Seize 1.6 Tons Of Cocaine In ‘Historic' Drug Bust
One of the biggest drug busts was made in Mexico City earlier this week when police seized 1.6 tons of cocaine – some of which was destined for Los Angeles. Mexico City Police Chief Omar Garcia Harfuch said the “historic confiscation” amounts to about $20 million in Mexico. Half of the shipment, Harfuch said, was meant for Mexico City, but the other half was destined for Los Angeles, CBS News reported. “It's an example that in Mexico City there is no impunity or complicity,” Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, the head of government of Mexico City, wrote on Facebook. Police arrested four people, who are from Colombia, in connection with the incident.  PoliceOne

Public Safety News

Previously Burned Downtown Building Catches Fire Again
Firefighters waged a defensive battle Sunday evening against flames showing through the roof of a previously burned single-story commercial building downtown. The fire was reported at 10:31 p.m. at 1501 E. 17th St., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. More than 70 firefighters put out the bulk of the flames in 34 minutes and prevented the fire from spreading to an adjacent building, Stewart said. Firefighters continued to spray water on an exposed gas line that burned while waiting for the gas company to arrive and turn it off, she said. No injuries were reported and motorists were asked to avoid the area through the night, she said.

Local Emergency Proclamation Issued In L.A. County For Monkeypox
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation Tuesday morning that declares Monkeypox a local emergency. Supervisor Holly Mitchell said that the proclamation was made in order to bolster the county's response to the monkeypox outbreak. “This proclamation is critical in helping us get ahead of this virus,” City News Service reported Mitchell as saying in a statement. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet Tuesday morning to ratify the proclamation and to request recovery assistance under the California Disaster Assistance Act. L.A. County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she believes the proclamation will get full support from the board. “It's vital for us to get the resources so we can do all hands on deck … To date, to our knowledge, there have been no deaths as a result of Monkeypox. My understanding it is very painful but I'm going to tell people not to panic,” Barger said. California has confirmed nearly 800 Monkeypox cases, with almost half of those being reported in Los Angeles County. KTLA 5

Local Government News

LA Expands Homeless Encampment Ban Near Schools At Rowdy City Hall Meeting
An ordinance that bans homeless encampments near schools and daycare centers was approved by the Los Angeles City Council in an unruly scene Tuesday at City Hall. Discussion about the measure included an hour-long, obscenity laden disruption by activists who chanted and shouted in the council chamber. In the end, the ordinance that expands a ban on homeless encampments within 500 feet of schools and daycare centers was approved by an 11-3 vote. Council members called an hourlong recess before voting on the amendment to city law. The council voted 10-1 in favor of the ordinance last month. Because the vote wasn't unanimous, it required a second vote Tuesday. The amendment expands locations where camping and sleeping are banned. Those areas include within 2 feet of any fire hydrant or fire plug; within 5 feet of any operational or utilizable entrance or exit; within 10 feet of a loading dock or driveway; in a manner that interferes with any activity for which the city has issued a permit or restricts accessible passage as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act; or anywhere within a street, including bike paths. The law also already protected the public right of way within 500 feet of schools, day care facilities, parks and libraries -- but only if each specific location is designated by the council for enforcement. NBC 4

L.A. City Hall To Be Lit Up In Honor Of Vin Scully
As the city of Los Angeles continues to mourn the passing of legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Los Angeles City Hall would be lit up Wednesday in honor of the man known lovingly as the voice of the city. Garcetti's office announced plans to light up City Hall following the news of Scully's passing. Scully, who was the voice (and face) of the Dodgers for more than six decades, died peacefully Tuesday at the age of 94, the team announced. “It is impossible to think about the Dodgers without reflecting on Vin's incomparable way with words and the boundless wisdom he shared with generations of fans around the world,” Garcetti said of the Hall-of-Fame announcer. “Our hearts are broken by his passing, but he will forever be remembered as an indispensable teller of L.A.'s story – and the author of some of our most indelible memories.” The mayor added that one of the greatest honors of his life was awarding Scully the very first Key to the City of his administration. KTLA 5

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