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Los Angeles nurse killed in unprovoked bus stop attack was about to retire

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A Los Angeles nurse who was killed in an unprovoked attack at a bus stop was a dedicated caregiver preparing to retire after nearly four decades on the job, neighbors and hospital officials said.

Sandra Shells, a 70-year-old nurse at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, had served 38 years on the job, including throughout the pandemic, when she was struck by a homeless man on her way to work, KABC reported.

“It’s sad, it’s sad to hear,” her neighbor Tony Mena said of Shells’ killing. “Getting ready to retire and this is what happens.”

Another neighbor, Liz Anderson, remembered Shells as a “very caring” person always ready to help someone in need.

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“Sandy was a very hard worker,” Anderson told the station. “Very private person, stayed to herself but she was always working. I think her whole job, her whole life, was just helping other people.”

LAPD Central Area delivered a floral arrangement to LAUSCMC staff in memory of Sandra Shells.
Twitter / @LAPDCaptMorales

Police said Shells was at a Metro stop in downtown Los Angeles at 5 a.m. Thursday when she was struck in the face by a 48-year-old transient, identified as Kerry Bell.

She fell to the ground and fractured her skull, and died of her injuries Sunday, officials said.

Bell was arrested while he was sleeping near Los Angeles’ Union Station, police said.

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A Los Angeles nurse who died in an unprovoked attack at a bus stop was a dedicated caregiver readying to retire after nearly four decades on the job, neighbors and hospital officials said.
Sandra Shells died in an unprovoked attack at a bus stop.
KABC-TV

Cops described Bell as a transient with one prior arrest in Los Angeles and several more in other states.

He was originally charged with attempted murder, but is now facing an upgraded charge of suspicion of murder in Shells’ death, KABC reported.

His bail was set at $2 million, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

A Los Angeles nurse who died in an unprovoked attack at a bus stop was a dedicated caregiver readying to retire after nearly four decades on the job, neighbors and hospital officials said.
Sandra Shells was hailed as a hero for saving “countless lives” throughout the pandemic.
KABC-TV

Shells’ neighbors said her killing shows that more work needs to be done in Los Angeles in identifying mental illness, particularly among the city’s homeless population.

“I just think that there’s a lot of people that are out there on the streets that are homeless that really need help,” Anderson told KABC. “They need to be seen and evaluated.”

Bell, if convicted, should spend the rest of his life behind bars, Anderson said.

“That man should never be allowed on the streets again — ever,” Anderson told CBS Los Angeles. “He should never be out on the streets again, to do it again.”

A Los Angeles nurse who died in an unprovoked attack at a bus stop was a dedicated caregiver readying to retire after nearly four decades on the job, neighbors and hospital officials said.
Liz Anderson remembered Shells as a “very caring” person.
KABC-TV

Shells, as a frontline hospital worker, helped “save countless lives” during the pandemic, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement characterizing the late nurse as a hero.

“I will continue to push for an enhanced safety plan for riders and staff so we can prevent tragic incidents like [this] from happening again,” Solis tweeted Sunday after Shells succumbed to her injuries. “I send my condolences to her family and the entire LAC+USC Medical Center community.”

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Hospital officials, meanwhile, have praised Shells’ warmth and dedication to her job, KABC reported.

A Los Angeles nurse who died in an unprovoked attack at a bus stop was a dedicated caregiver readying to retire after nearly four decades on the job, neighbors and hospital officials said.
Sandra Shells was a 70-year-old nurse at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
KABC-TV

“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,” hospital officials said. “There will never be enough words to express our gratitude for her tremendous work and dedication.”

Vigils will be held Wednesday at the bus stop where Shells was attacked at Cesar Chavez and Vignes streets near Union Station, CBS Los Angeles reported.

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