Authorities in Los Angeles arrested Kerry Bell, a 48-year-old homeless man, in connection with the assault that killed a 70-year-old LA nurse. He was allegedly found sleeping not too far from where the incident occurred, as authorities investigate what happened.

Waiting at the bus stop near Union Station, nurse Sandra Shells was attacked by a homeless man at around 5:15 a.m. on Thursday. Punched in the head in a surprise assault, Shells fell to ground and suffered a skull fracture as her head came in contact with the hard concrete on the ground.

Spending three days in the hospital, NBC News reported that the LA nurse has since passed away after succumbing to her injuries.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore wrote on Twitter that Shells’ death was, “a tragic and senseless murder directly tied to the failure of this Nation’s mental health resources.”

“We can and must do better,” he continued. “This victim lived her life for others. We are falling short.”

According to authorities, no motive for the attack is known at this time. Kerry Bell’s bail was set at $2 million, and he is being held on charges of suspicion of murder. If found responsible, his charge will most likely be updated to attempted murder.

Police revealed that it appeared Bell struck “without provocation and for no reason.”

The metro assault by a mentally ill homeless man is the second incident this week in the United States, following an attack on New York City’s subway system. This past Sunday night, a woman was pushed onto the subway tracks in front of an oncoming train. Michelle Go, 40, the subway rider killed in the Times Square assault, was also the victim of a suddenly violent homeless man, 61-year-old Simon Martial.

“We want to continue to highlight how imperative it is that people receive the right mental health services, particularly on our subway system,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said on Monday.

L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis echoed Adams’ call, stating that, “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.”

“As a frontline essential worker, she helped save countless lives throughout the pandemic and it is a heartbreaking loss to lose a hero,” she continued. “I send my condolences to her family and the entire LAC+USC Medical Center community.”

Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where LA nurse Sandra Shells worked for nearly four decades before she was killed by Kerry Bell
Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where LA nurse Sandra Shells worked for nearly four decades before she was killed by Kerry Bell. Photo Credit: Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center

Sandra Shells was a nurse at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center where she died on Monday. She worked there for a long time and even throughout the pandemic, despite her age.

“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,” the hospital released in an official statement of her passing.

“There will never be enough words to express our gratitude for her tremendous work and dedication,” the statement read.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger also called for a full investigation into the attack, stating that this kind of assault is unacceptable for Metro riders just waiting for public transportation.

“Our essential workers, such as this county nurse, often take public transportation at unconventional times and can become easy prey for violent actors,” Barger said. “Our county has an urgent need to work with public safety, mental health and transportation providers to create more safe and stable environments.”

“Learning of this attack is both shocking and heartbreaking… Our essential workers are battling a pandemic and working long hours in tough conditions,” Barger continued. “At a minimum, they deserve that.”