LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A nurse who was left in critical condition after being assaulted at a bus stop in downtown Los Angeles has died, officials announced Sunday.
The woman, identified as LAC+USC Medical Center nurse Sandra Shells, was attacked Thursday morning at the bus stop located near the corner of Cesar E Chavez Avenue and Vignes Street.
In a statement Sunday, the hospital confirmed that Shells succumbed to her injuries.
"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. 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 read.
The suspect, later identified as Kerry Bell, had struck 70-year-old Shells in the face "without provocation and for no reason," causing her to fall to the ground and sustain fractured skull, police said.
A short time after the assault, he was found sleeping near the site of the incident and was taken into custody. Authorities described him as a transient, with one prior arrest in L.A. and multiple others in other states.
He is now facing an updated charge of suspicion of murder.
L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis released a statement that reads in part:
"As a frontline essential worker, she helped save countless lives throughout the pandemic and it is a heartbreaking loss to lose a hero. As Chair of the Metro 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."