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The Los Angeles nurse who was hospitalized Thursday after being attacked by a homeless man near the city’s Union Station has died of her injuries, reports said Sunday.
Sandra Shells, who was believed to be in her 60s or 70s, worked at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, according to the Los Angeles Times. The hospital remembered Shells as a tireless worker who “will always be remembered as a ‘kind, compassionate and generous nurse.'”
The attack occurred shortly after 5 a.m. at a bus stop on E. Chavez Avenue, Fox 11 reported. The nurse was reportedly hit in the head and fell to the ground. The station reported that she was rushed to the same hospital where she worked to undergo brain surgery.
Arrested and Charged
Kerry Bell, 48, was arrested and charged with attempted murder, the Times reported. ABC 7 reported that Bell was caught sleeping near the scene of the attack. The newspaper, citing police, said his bail was set at $2 million.
“As a frontline essential worker, she has helped save countless lives during the pandemic and it is a heartbreaking loss to lose a hero,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement.
Chief Michel Moore shared on Twitter
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore shared on Twitter that Shells’ death was “a senseless and tragic murder directly related to the failure of this nation’s mental health resources.” We can and must do better. This victim lived her life for others. We are falling short.
“We are deeply saddened by this news,” Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center officials said in a statement. ‘Sandra Shells will always be remembered for her compassionate care and unparalleled dedication to her patients and her community throughout her 38-year career at LAC + USC.’
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has called for a full investigation into the attack, arguing that essential workers already working in difficult conditions during the pandemic deserve a “safer and more stable environment.”
“Learning from this attack is both shocking and heartbreaking,” Barger said in a statement. “I ask for a full investigation into what caused the attack and any information that can be used to prevent this from happening again.
“It is unacceptable that Metro bus passengers are susceptible to this type of violence. Our essential workers, like this county nurse, often take public transportation at unconventional hours and can become easy prey for violent actors,” said Barger. Los Angeles, like many cities across the country, has seen an alarming rise in violent crime in the past two years.
Sandra Shells Quick and Facts
- Sandra Shells, 70, who was badly injured after being struck in the head by a homeless man near Union Station in Los Angeles three days ago, has died
- LAPD arrested Kerry Bell, a 48-year-old homeless man who was found sleeping not far away from the bus station, in connection to the attack
- No motive for the unprovoked attack has been revealed. Bell is being held on $2million bail
- A full investigation of the attack has been open, the LAPD said on Sunday