Sandra Shells: Candlelight vigil honors devoted nurse who was attacked at downtown LA bus stop

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Friends and colleagues gathered early Wednesday morning to honor the life of a beloved ER nurse who died after being attacked at a bus stop in downtown Los Angeles.

Sandra Shells, 70, was waiting to catch a bus on Jan. 13 when she was randomly attacked by a homeless man. She suffered a fractured skull and died from her injuries a few days later.

Shells worked at LAC+USC Medical Center for 38 years and is being remembered as a dedicated public servant.

Police officers and those who worked with her gathered for a candlelight vigil Wednesday at the bus stop where she was attacked, releasing a bundle of white balloons in her honor.

"Everyone is going to remember her by her smile. She just was a really nice person, mentor. Everyone loved her," said the victim's friend and registered nurse, Terri Thompson.

No matter how she was described, the consensus among those in attendance seemed to be that her death was a tragedy.

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Friends and neighbors are remembering a devoted 70-year-old nurse who died after being attacked at a downtown Los Angeles bus stop.

"She was a kind, loving human being who came to work everyday and took care of the most vulnerable people in the city of Los Angeles, and she was our friend," said Candice Palmisano, Shells' co-worker. "It seems unfair, cruel and she didn't deserve this. No one deserves this."

Shells' death is also raising concerns about safety on the Metro transit system, while also re-igniting concerns for some about the region's homeless population.

"We also want to bring awareness to the safety in our community. We have to do something about this. She catches the bus here everyday, almost 40 years, and this had to happen to her," Thompson added.

The suspect, identified as Kerry Bell, was arrested shortly after the attack and has been charged with murder. Police believe the attack was unprovoked.

Bell's arraignment on the murder charge was postponed Tuesday until Feb. 9. A judge set his bail at $2 million.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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