Los Angeles ER nurse dies days after being attacked by homeless man

Sandra Shells, who was believed to be in her 60s or 70s, has been remembered as a 'kind, compassionate, and giving nurse'

                            Los Angeles ER nurse dies days after being attacked by homeless man
Sandra Shells was a nurse at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center (Instagram/ lacuscmedical)

LOS ÁNGELES, CALIFORNIA: An ER nurse, who was reportedly attacked by a homeless man, has died on Sunday, January 16, after she failed to recover from her injuries. Sandra Shells, who was believed to be in her 60s or 70s, was hit by the 48-year-old suspect Kerry Bell near the city’s Union Station.

Shells was a staff member at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. She was remembered as a “kind, compassionate, and giving nurse” by the hospital. A statement from the hospital read, “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.”

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According to Fox 11, Shells was attacked “without provocation and for no reason” soon after five in the morning at a bus stop near the corner of Cesar E Chavez Avenue and Vignes Street on Thursday, January 13. Bell allegedly hit the victim in the head due to which she collapsed on the ground. She was soon taken to her hospital for brain surgery, but couldn’t be saved.

The accused has been arrested and charged with attempted murder. He was sleeping near the place where he struck Shells. His bail amount has been set at $2 million. In a statement, Hilda Solis, the Los Angeles County supervisor, said, “As a frontline essential worker, she helped save countless lives throughout the pandemic and it is a heartbreaking loss to lose a hero. As Chair of the Metro Board of Directors, 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. I send my condolences to her family and the entire LAC+USC Medical Center community.”

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore shared on Twitter, “A tragic and senseless murder directly tied 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.”


Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has demanded a thorough probe into the case while adding, “Learning of this attack is both shocking and heartbreaking. I'm asking 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 for Metro bus riders to be susceptible to this type of violence. Our essential workers, such as this county nurse, often take public transportation at unconventional times and can become easy prey for violent actors.”

Meanwhile, a lot of people on Twitter have expressed sorrow over the tragedy. A user tweeted, “This isn't ok. California needs change. The crime wave is worse than the virus. We lose more people, children to senseless acts of crime, then we do covid. It's appalling.” Another one said, “She is DEAD because vagrants are allowed to live near bus stops. The rich are safe in their cars while bus riders keep getting murdered by vagrants.” “Jail the crazies and don't let them out until sober and completion of rehab,” a tweet suggested.




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