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Woman attacked at Union Station bus stop dies from injuries

Los Angeles Union Station.
Sandra Shells, a nurse, has died after being attacked at Los Angeles Union Station on Thursday.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

A nurse who was attacked while waiting at a bus stop at downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station on Thursday morning has died, according to officials.

The woman was identified as Sandra Shells, a nurse at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Police said Shells, who they estimated was in her 60s or 70s, was struck by an unhoused man at a bus stop at East Cesar Chavez Avenue and North Vignes Street. The attack was unprovoked, authorities said.

In a statement Sunday, Shells’ employer confirmed that she died from her injuries.

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“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,” the statement read. “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.”

A man was arrested not far from Union Station after the attack. Kerry Bell, 48, of Los Angeles was booked on charges of attempted murder. His bail was set at $2 million, according to the LAPD.

L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis wrote on Sunday that Shells “helped save countless lives throughout the pandemic and it is a heartbreaking loss to lose a hero.”

Solis added that as chair of L.A. Metro’s board of directors, she “will continue to push for an enhanced safety plan for riders and staff so we can prevent tragic incidents like this from happening again.”

In a statement Thursday, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said that “Metro is appalled upon hearing of this incident. Metro’s highest concern is the safety of our customers, and along with our law enforcement partners, we have zero tolerance for crimes committed against our customers. Perpetrators will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted to the greatest extent of the law.”


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