A homeless man has been charged with the murder of a nurse who he allegedly punched in an unprovoked attack at a Los Angeles bus stop causing her to fall and hit her head on the sidewalk.
Kerry Bell, 48, was arrested a short time after the attack on 70-year-old Sandra Shells, who died three days later at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where she worked for 38-years.
Police say a homeless man killed Sandra Shells, 70, who had worked at an LA hospital for 38 years
Mr Bell was expected to be arraigned in downtown Los Angeles later on Tuesday, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
He is accused of attacking Ms Shells, who friends said was soon to retire, without reason at a bus stop near the city’s Union Station as she waited to catch a bus to work.
In a statement following her death on Sunday, hospital officials said she would “forever be remembered for her compassionate care and unmatched dedication to her patients and her community.’’
“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,’’ said hospital officials.
“There will never be enough words to express our gratitude for her tremendous work and dedication.’’
“Sandra Shells unselfishly dedicated her life to caring for others in their time of need,” District Attorney Gascón said in a statement following the charging of the suspect.
“To lose such a valuable member of our community is tragic and my office will hold accountable the person responsible for her death.”
Authorities say that the suspect has a criminal record with multiple violent crimes.
Meanwhile, a manhunt is underway for a suspect accused of stabbing 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer to death at the furniture store where she worked in Los Angeles.
Ms Kupfer, a graduate student at the University of California – Los Angeles, was alone on a shift at the Croft House showroom on 13 January when a masked man walked in and attacked her, police said.
She was found bleeding out on the floor by a customer 20 minutes later and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Nearly a week later, the assailant, believed to be a homeless man, is still at large after surveillance video captured him leaving the shop through a back door and walking calmly down an alley.
In addition to a $50,000 reward from the city council, private donations for information relating to the capture of the suspect have now taken the total to in excess of $250,00.