Man accused of fatally attacking Los Angeles nurse charged with murder, DA's office says

A nurse who worked at LA County+USC Medical Center died after being attacked at a bus stop on January 13, 2022. The man accused of attacking her has been charged with murder

(CNN)The man accused of killing a longtime nurse while at a bus stop was officially charged with one count of murder Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Kerry Bell, 48, allegedly attacked Sandra Shells, 70, last Thursday while Shells was on her way to work in the LA County+USC Medical Center emergency department, police said. The DA's office said Bell struck Shells, who fell backward and hit her head on the ground. She was taken to the emergency room where she worked and died of her injuries days later.
"Sandra Shells unselfishly dedicated her life to caring for others in their time of need," said District Attorney George Gascón in a news release. "To lose such a valuable member of our community is tragic and my office will hold accountable the person responsible for her death."
      CNN was not immediately able to find out if Bell has legal representation. He is scheduled for an arraignment February 9.
        Shells worked at the medical center for 38 years, the hospital said Monday. An early morning vigil was held for Shells Wednesday at the bus stop.
          "Sandy was dedicated to nursing, this was her purpose in life, she loved what she did," said Doreen Rivera, LAC+USC nursing manager. She added that Shells would arrive at 5:40 for her 7 a.m. shift.
          "This is what she loved to do. Her life had purpose. It had meaning," Rivera said. "And although we are grieving her loss, what's important to focus on is that she lived her life and she lived her life doing what she loved doing and that was being a nurse and that was serving the people in this community who are underserved and need our help the most."
          Lillian Cabral, a nurse, said Shells "meant more than just being a nurse."
          "She was a spirit, when you walked in that ER in old General Hospital 1050, 1060, she was ready to greet you, she was ready to be the teacher you needed and that was the most important thing," Cabral said.
          Bruce Banares is another nurse who said Shells taught others about unbiased care.
            "This is someone who came to work with extra clothes in her backpack just in case there was someone who needed clothes," Banares said. "She cared about the community and about who she worked with. We lost someone who loved everyone and was selfless."
            Cabral, who also serves as the executive officer of Service Employees International Union Local 721, said the union is building a scholarship in honor of Shells.