According to the District Attorney's Office, on March 10, 2022, Pazienza was walking on West 28th Street when she "crossed the street, shouted obscenities at Ms. Gustern and then intentionally shoved her to the ground."
Pazienza walked away following the attack but remained in the area for about 20 minutes.
Gustern fell on her head, which resulted in a "massive hemorrhage." She was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she became unconscious and put on life support. She died five days later.
Following the push, Pazienza got into a physical fight with her fiancé, then watched the ambulance take Gustern away. Pazienza and her fiancé rode the subway to their apartment in Astoria, Queens, and she confessed to shoving Gustern. After getting rid of her social media profiles and wedding site, she went to Long Island to stay with family.
Pazienza later turned herself in to a New York Police Department precinct.
Bragg said in the press release, "Lauren Pazienza aggressively shoved Barbara Gustern to the ground and walked away as the beloved New Yorker lay there bleeding. Today’s plea holds Pazienza accountable for her deadly actions. We continue to mourn the loss of Barbara Gustern, a talented musical theater performer and vocal coach who touched so many in New York City and beyond."