Longtime Los Angeles nurse dies days after unprovoked attack at downtown bus stop

·2 min read
Exteriors of Los Angeles's Union Station. The attack of 70-year-old nurse Sanda Shells happened at a bus stop near the station on Jan. 13. She later died on Jan. 17.
Exteriors of Los Angeles's Union Station. The attack of 70-year-old nurse Sanda Shells happened at a bus stop near the station on Jan. 13. She later died on Jan. 17.

A Los Angeles nurse who was attacked while waiting at a bus stop died Sunday, authorities said.

The nurse, identified as 70-years old Sandra Shells, was attacked at a bus stop near Union Station in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday shortly after 5 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Authorities said the suspect, identified as Kerry Bell, struck Shells in the face "without provocation and for no reason," causing her to fall to the ground and resulting in a fractured skull. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded and took Shells to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where she had been a nurse for nearly 40 years.

On Sunday, authorities said Shells died from her injuries.

"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. Sandra worked tirelessly and selflessly to keep her patients safe and healthy and will always be remembered as a 'kind, compassionate and giving nurse' with a 'helpful and thoughtful nature' who was a favorite amongst colleagues and patients. There will never be enough words to express our gratitude for her tremendous work and dedication," the hospital said in a statement.

Bell, who police said is homeless, was not at the scene when officers arrived, but he was found sleeping nearby more than an hour later. He was arrested and is being held on charges of attempted murder.

Shell's attack happened days before Michelle Alyssa Go, 40, of New York was pushed to her death in front of a subway train at the Times Square station on Saturday. The suspect in the attack was arrested.

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Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a series of tweets on Sunday that she was devastated to learn of Shell's death. Solis, who also serves as chair of the Los Angeles Metro board of directors, said she will continue to push for rider and staff safety to "prevent tragic incidents like this from happening again."

"As a front-line essential worker, she helped save countless lives throughout the pandemic and it is a heartbreaking loss to lose a hero," she wrote.

The Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center said it was working with Shell's family to create a foundation in her name "to honor her legacy."

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Los Angeles nurse dies days after attack at Union Station bus stop