Sandra Shells: Kerry Bell Accused in Murder of Los Angeles Nurse

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Sandra Shells was a California nurse who died after police say she was attacked by a homeless man while waiting for a bus. Los Angeles police have accused Kerry Bell of striking Shells in the face, ultimately causing her death.

Shells, 70, was from Los Angeles, California. According to CBS Los Angeles, Shells was assaulted as she “waited to catch a bus to her job at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center,” where she worked as a nurse.

It’s the latest random attack of a woman waiting for public transportation by a homeless person. In New York, Michelle Alyssa Go was pushed to her death in front of a subway train with no provocation on January 15, 2022, by a homeless man with a long arrest history, police there said. Brianna Kupfer, 24, was randomly stabbed to death while working in a store in the Los Angeles area.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Bell Struck Shells in the Face, Causing Her to Fracture Her Skull When She Fell, Police Say

According to a news release from the LAPD, on January 13, 2022, at around 5:15 a.m., Los Angeles Police Department Central Area uniformed patrol officers “responded to a radio call of an assault at the bus stop located adjacent to Union Station on the southwest corner of Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and Vignes Street.”

Upon arrival, police wrote, “officers discovered that the suspect, later identified as Kerry Bell, had struck the victim in the face, causing her to fall to the ground and sustain a fractured skull. Los Angeles Fire Department personnel responded to the scene and rushed the victim to a local hospital, where the victim received medical treatment for her injuries.”

LAPD Central Area officers, with the assistance of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, “quickly released photos of the suspect to officers in the area. Approximately ninety minutes later, officers from Central Area contacted Bell as he slept a short distance away from the incident. Bell was taken into custody without incident,” police wrote.

2. Police Say Bell Struck Shells ‘Without Provocation & for No Reason’

There was no discernible motive behind the attack, police say.

“The Los Angeles Police Department Central Bureau Homicide detectives assumed investigative responsibility for the case,” the LAPD news release says.

“Bell struck the victim without provocation and for no reason,” they say.

“On January 16, 2022, the victim died at the hospital from the injuries she sustained. The victim has been identified as Ms. Sandra Shells, 70-years old, a resident of Los Angeles.”

3. Bell Is a ‘Transient’ With a Prior Arrest History

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According to the LAPD, Bell is homeless.

The “investigation revealed Bell is a transient, with one prior arrest in Los Angeles, but multiple prior arrests in several other states,” police wrote.

“Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to call Detective Sharman, Los Angeles Police Department, Central Bureau Homicide, at (213) 996-4171. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477)…”

The Los Angeles County Jail booking information for Bell says he is 46-years-old and stands 6 foot 2 inches tall, weighing 220 pounds. He was arrested on September 8, 2020, for a misdemeanor.

He was arrested on January 13, 2022, in the Shells death, and his bail is $2 million.

4. Shells Was Remembered for Her ‘Compassionate Care’ Toward Patients

Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center released a statement to Heavy via email, saying, “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 continued, “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,” the statement said.

Rob Arline wrote on Facebook,

I know we aren’t to question God, but i truly do not understand how something so terrible and senseless could happen to such a humble and joyful person. i will never forget her upbeat voice when she would get report from me “don’t tell me their life story, just tell me what they’re here for” .. Rest well Ms. Sandy, you will be missed.

5. A County Supervisor Is calling for a ‘Full Investigation’ & Another Called Shells a ‘Hero’

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger wrote on Twitter, “I’m calling for a full investigation into the assault of a @CountyofLA USC nurse at a @metrolosangeles bus stop. It’s unacceptable for bus riders to be susceptible to this type of violence. Our essential workers and the public at large deserve better.”

L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis wrote on Twitter, “I am devastated to learn that Sandra Shells, the @LACUSCMedCenter nurse who was attacked at a Metro bus stop a couple of days ago, has succumbed to her injuries. As a frontline essential worker, she helped save countless lives throughout the pandemic and it is a heartbreaking loss to lose a hero.”

She added, “As Chair of @metrolosangeles 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.”

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