Kathleen Hanna has called on her fans to help identify the woman who pushed her singing coach, Barbara Maier Gustern, in an attack which resulted in the 87-year-old’s death.
The Broadway vocal coach died on Tuesday from brain injuries sustained during the attack on the streets of Manhattan on March 10.
Rolling Stone reports that Gustern was shoved from behind near her home on West 28th Street and Eighth Avenue by a woman who, according to New York police chief of detectives James Essig, “crossed the street [and] pushed [her] in an unprovoked, senseless attack”.
Essig added: “We’re asking the public’s help in solving this disgusting and disgraceful offense committed against a vulnerable, elderly female who was doing nothing but walking down the streets of New York City.”
Posting surveillance photos of the alleged attacker on her Instagram, the Bikini Kill singer wrote: “I can’t even fucking believe I am posting this. This person murdered someone I love very much and I really don’t want anyone else to ever have to go thru what the lovely, energetic, funny as hell Barbara Maier Gustern had to go through.”
Police released surveillance footage, showing a young woman with red hair wearing a black jacket over a white skirt or dress. A reward of $3,500 (£2,665) is being offered by Gustern’s family for any information that may lead to the identification of the woman.
Speaking to The New York Times, friends and relatives said she initially remained conscious after the injury and gave the police a description of her attacker, stating that the woman had shouted a derogatory term before pushing her.
“I struggle to understand and cope with this world on a daily basis, and frankly this is beyond my ability to bear,” Gustern’s grandson AJ wrote on Facebook after her injury.
“Do what you can for your fellow human being, no matter how small. Make the time. Preventing needless loss and violence like this starts with us as individuals. We must care more for each other.”
On March 15, AJ confirmed her death, writing: “Today, at 11:15AM, we have lost one of the brightest little flames to ever grace this world.”
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