Broadway singing coach, shoved on NYC sidewalk, dies from injuries

A beloved 87-year-old singing coach died on Tuesday from injuries she suffered during an “unprovoked, senseless attack” last week in New York City, authorities said.

The woman suspected of shoving Barbara Maier Gustern to her death is still wanted, police said.

The attacker, with long curly hair and a long black jacket, “crossed the street (and) pushed the 87-year-old female in an unproved senseless attack,” New York City Police Department Chief of Detectives James Essig told reporters Tuesday.

Police in New York are searching for a woman suspected of shoving an 87-year-old singing coach from behind, sending her to the hospital in critical condition.
Police in New York are searching for a woman suspected of shoving an 87-year-old singing coach from behind, sending her to the hospital in critical condition.NYPD

“We’re asking (for) the public’s help in solving this disgusting, disgraceful offense committed against a vulnerable, elderly female who was doing nothing but walking down the streets of New York City,” he added. “So please, anybody with any information on this person or her whereabouts” call police.

The suspect approached Gustern near West 28th Street and Eighth Avenue and pushed her from behind, causing her to fall and hit her head, police said. The attacker then fled toward Ninth Avenue.

Gustern has vocal coach credits for the critically acclaimed 2019 Broadway revival of “Oklahoma!” and “Passing Strange” in 2008.

“Like so many others today, I am horrified by the murder of Barbara Maier Gustern, a true beacon of joy and inspiration in the downtown performing world,” Drama Critics’ Circle President Adam Feldman tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s incomprehensible.”

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