Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center announced the creation of a memorial fund Tuesday to benefit the family of a 70-year-old nurse who was fatally struck in the head in an unprovoked attack at a downtown bus stop.
The Sandra Shells Memorial Fund will also help “other families who have been affected by or have fallen victim to violence,” according to the medical center.
Shells was attacked at about 5:15 a.m. Jan. 13 at a bus stop at Vignes Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue, near Union Station. She was waiting to catch a bus to her job at LAC+USC Medical Center when she was struck in the head, allegedly by a homeless man. Shells fell to the ground, striking her head on the ground.
She died four days later at the hospital where she worked for 38 years.
The man who allegedly attacked her, 48-year-old Kerry Bell, was arrested shortly after the attack and has been charged with murder. He remains jailed on $2 million bail and is due back in court Feb. 9 for arraignment.
Hospital officials noted that Shells would often arrive at the hospital early in the morning before her shift so she could sit in the locker room and read her Bible.
“LAC+USC Medical Center family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support received in the wake of Nurse Sandra Shells’ passing,” according to a hospital statement. “We are grateful to those who have paid tribute to Ms. Shells by extending their condolences, sending flower arrangements, and posting heartfelt messages on social media. We appreciate your sentiments and we thank you for sharing in our sadness.”
Donations to the memorial fund can be made online at lacuscfoundation.org.