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'She Led With Love, Kindness, And Compassion': County Establishes Sandra Shells Memorial Fund In Honor Of Slain Nurse

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — County-USC Medical Center officials have established a memorial fund in honor of nurse Sandra Shells after being overwhelmed with love and support since her death.

Sandra Shells
(credit: Los Angeles County)

Shells, 70, died after being attacked while waiting at a bus stop near Union Station on Jan. 13. She was taken to the very hospital where she worked as an emergency room nurse, County-USC Medical Center.

"She was a guiding light," said Sheila Mallett, clinical nursing director at USC Medical Center.

A homeless man, Kerry Bell, has been charged with her murder.

The county said it established the Sandra Shells Memorial Fund to help her family, and assist other families who have been affected by violence. A moving video was also released Tuesday, showing hospital staff standing at attention as Shells' body was draped with an American flag and taken away to the coroner's office.

"She never let her dark side come out," said Mallett. "She always was positive."

County officials say Shells began her career as a registered nurse in 1977 at the county's historic General Hospital, in Ward 6300 of the Diagnosis & Evaluation Unit. She was known for her love of "Star Wars," and often wore her hair like Prin'cess Leia. She was famous for her energy and assisting her co-workers, becoming known unofficially as the "locker room greeter."

"She led with love, kindness, and compassion, and oftentimes carrying extra clothes in her bag to give to homeless patients," a statement from the county said. "Over the years, Sandra trained many nurses and role modeled how to treat everyone with dignity and respect."

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