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Los Angeles nurse, 70, attacked at bus stop dies at hospital where she served for 38 years

Police arrested Kerry Bell, 48, after the Jan. 13. attack on Sandra Shells near Union Station.
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A Los Angeles nurse who was brutally attacked while waiting at a bus stop near Union Station last week, has died at the hospital where she served patients for 38 years.

Sandra Shells, 70, died Sunday from her wounds sustained in the Thursday attack, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release.

She passed away at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, where she spent nearly four decades caring for patients.

“We are deeply saddened by this news,” hospital officials said in a statement. “Sandra Shells will forever be remembered for her compassionate care and unmatched dedication to her patients and her community throughout her 38-year career at LAC+USC.”

Shells was waiting at a bus stop adjacent to Union Station on the corner of Vignes Street and Cesar E. Chavez Avenue on Jan. 13. when she was attacked around 5:15: a.m., police said.

The suspect, who police identified as transient Kerry Bell, is alleged to have struck Shells in the face, causing her to fall and sustain a fractured skull. She was subsequently rushed to the hospital. 

“Bell struck the victim without provocation and for no reason,” the news release said. 

Officers arrested Bell, 48, about 90 minutes later. He was found sleeping a short distance from the incident and taken into custody. 

A spokesperson for the LAPD said Tuesday Bell was booked on attempted murder and remains in jail, held on $2 million bail. No lawyer information for the suspect was immediately available. 

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore called the incident “a tragic and senseless murder directly tied to the failure of this nation’s mental health resources” on Twitter

“We can and must do better. This victim lived her life for others. We are falling short.”  

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has called for a full investigation into the assault.

Barger argued that essential workers need "more safe and stable environments" especially given their tedious work conditions amid the pandemic.

“Our County has an urgent need to work with public safety, mental health and transportation providers to create more safe and stable environments,” Barger said. “Our essential workers are battling a pandemic and working long hours in tough conditions — at a minimum, they deserve that.”