LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Two vigils were held Wednesday for a 70-year-old emergency room nurse who was killed in an attack last week at a bus stop near Union Station.
Kerry Bell, 48, a homeless man, was arrested for attacking Sandra Shells as she waited at a bus stop on Cesar Chavez Avenue and Vignes Street on Jan. 13. Shells, who was on her way to work, fell backward and hit her head on the ground.
Shells was taken to LA+USC Medical Center, the same hospital where she worked for 38 years as a registered nurse, and died of her injuries three days later.
The vigils, one in the early morning and one in the evening, were held at the bus stop where Shells was attacked. Dozens of fellow nurses, along with LAPD officers, stopped by to pay their respects and remember her.
"The one thing the staff really wants, is for people not to forget Sandy," LAC+USC Chief Nursing Officer Nancy Blake told CBSLA Wednesday. "Like I said, she's a professional, dedicated, outstanding, compassionate nurse. And people were talking this morning on the shuttle on the way over, saying she was always in the locker room in the morning, welcoming people, always with a smile, always positive, and she will greatly be missed."
In morning vigil, the nurses celebrated Shells' life with a balloon release. In the evening, friends and family gathered to mourn her death with a candlelight vigil.
"She was a spirit, when you walked into that ER at general hospital, she was ready to greet you — ready to be the teacher you needed," nurse Lillian Cabral said.
"It definitely gives you a warm heart to see all these people out here caring like they do," said Shells' cousin, Steven Frieson.
Bell is expected to be formally charged with murder on Feb. 9. He is currently being held on $2 million bail.
"What happened to her, as much as it appears on its face to be a random attack, happens way too often," said Frieson.
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