An elderly nurse succumbed to her injuries sustained in a brutal attack by a homeless man at a Los Angeles transit bus stop. The 70-year-old nurse, Sandra Shells was admitted to the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where she worked for 38 years. Her death was announced by her employer on Sunday, January 16.
Sandra was attacked by a homeless man near Vignes Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue, half a mile away from Union Station at around 5.15 am on Thursday. The attacker was identified as 48-year-old Kerry Bell, who was arrested later the same day.
Kerry allegedly punched Shells in the head resulting in crashing her head to the ground. She suffered a fractured head because of the fall. Police noted that Kerry was arrested on suspicion of assault. His charge, however, will be updated to suspicion of murder. The attacker is being held on a $2 million bail. The motive behind the attack is not clear at the moment.
'A tragic and senseless murder'
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore noted on Twitter that Shells' death was 'a tragic and senseless murder directly tied to the failure of the Nation's mental health resources.' The officials with LA County-USC Medical Center appreciated Sandra's 'compassionate care and unmatched dedication to her patients and her community throughout her 38-year career at LAC+USC' in a statement.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger called in for an investigation into the horrifying incident. "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," Barger said.
The crime rate in Los Angeles
According to LAPD data, homicides in the city saw a rise up to 52 percent last year from 2019, while shooting incidents were recorded up to 59 percent. The city has also seen a surge in follow-home robberies and organized smash-and-grab attacks on retailers.