KEY POINTS

  • Sandra Shells, 70, was waiting for the bus when she was struck in the face
  • Cops arrested 48-year-old Kerry Bell for the unprovoked attack
  • Shells was left with a fractured skull and breathed her last at LAC+USC Medical Center

A 70-year-old nurse in Los Angeles was left with a fractured skull in an unprovoked attack from a stranger while she was on her way to work. Sandra Shells was waiting at the bus stop next to Union Station when she was struck in the face by a man identified as Kerry Bell. The incident occurred on Jan. 13.

Shells was rushed to Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, the hospital she had worked at for nearly four decades, but did not make it. The elderly nurse breathed her last on Jan. 16, according to NBC News.

“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.”

48-year-old Bell struck Shells in her face “for no reason” and caused her to fall on the ground, LAPD said a news release. Cops arrested the man about 90 minutes after the random attack. Bell was arrested for attempted murder after he was found sleeping a short distance from the scene of the crime.

Greiving neighbors described Shells as a devoted nurse who was planning to retire after having spent a major part of her life as an essential worker.

“Sandy was a very hard worker. Very private person, stayed to herself but she was always working. I think her whole job, her whole life, was just helping other people," one of Shells’ neighbors, Liz Anderson, told ABC7. "Her personality would affect anybody. A very caring person that just loved everybody, and I know that this community will really, she's just going to be missed.”

Another neighbor, Tony Mena, said, “It's sad. It's sad to hear. Getting ready to retire and this is what happens.”

County Supervisor Kathryn Barger released a statement following the incident and called for a full investigation into the assault. “Our essential workers, such as this County nurse, often take public transportation at unconventional times and can become easy prey for violent actors,” Barger said, as quoted by the Associated Press.

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

doctor-g4f49e4591_1920 Representative image Photo: Credit: Pixabay