Two People Were Stabbed Inside MoMA In New York City

The victims were transported to the hospital and were expected to survive, according to police.

Several police officers stand together near a cordoned-off area inside a lobby

A man who recently had his membership to the Museum of Modern Art revoked stabbed two employees Saturday afternoon after he was denied entry into the New York City building, police said.

The stabbings occurred at approximately 4:15 p.m., said John Miller, the deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism at the NYPD. The victims were transported to Bellevue Hospital and are expected to survive, according to police.

Miller said the man, whom he declined to identify but who he said is known to police, had his membership revoked because of two separate recent incidents involving disorderly conduct at MoMA.

"He became upset about not being allowed entrance and then jumped over the reception desk and proceeded to attack and stab two of the employees of the museum multiple times," Miller said during a press conference Saturday evening.

On Sunday morning, police released images of the suspect and identified him as Gary Cabana, 60. He was arrested early Tuesday in Philadelphia.

NYC: Do you know him? Earlier today, inside the @MuseumModernArt he stabbed a 24-year-old male employee and a 24-year-old female employee then fled. Both victims are in stable condition at an area hospital. If you have any information, contact @NYPDTips at 800-577-TIPS.

Twitter: @NYPDnews

The two employees were stabbed in the back, the collarbone, and the back of the neck, according to Miller. "We are told that they’re both going to be OK," he said.

Miller said police were looking for the suspect in connection with two other prior incidents in midtown Manhattan, but said police believe he does not have "an extensive record" or previous arrests. He did not provide additional information about those two incidents.

In a statement Tuesday morning, the museum said it had reopened and was looking forward to welcoming back members and visitors.

"We’re relieved and grateful that our colleagues are recovering, and the attacker was arrested," the statement said.

Christian Desrosiers, who is a member of MoMA, told BuzzFeed News he was getting his ticket scanned near the escalator when he saw three women who were about 15 feet in front of him spin around and sprint out of the building.

"I figured that I would follow them," he said. "You can just tell when somebody’s running for their life. There's a way you run when you’re fleeing something. ... It happened very quickly."

People stand together on the sidewalk with several police cars parked on the street

Desrosiers, 34, said it was "weirdly quiet" and that people weren't screaming as they fled.

"People were, like, rushing out, but it wasn’t like pandemonium," he said. "It was very unclear what was happening."

A Brooklyn resident named Alex told BuzzFeed News that he and his wife were sitting on the first floor by the museum store when they heard people screaming.

Alex, who did not want his last name published, said at first they thought it was a group of kids "being loud," but then they saw people rushing for the exit.

"Everybody around panicked and rushed out, pushing everyone and everything in front of them," Alex said in an email. "Both my wife and I didn’t see a hand sanitizer dispenser that had been pushed to the floor and we tripped and fell."

He said no one stepped over them, and he and his wife were able to get up and out of the building.

"I assumed the worst and kept running to get as far as possible quickly," Alex said.

Videos posted to social media showed other museum-goers calmly evacuating the building, seemingly unaware of what was going on.

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Graham Biyáál had been at MoMA for about two hours when he saw a group of high school–age people run by him on the second floor.

"It startled me a bit," Biyáál told BuzzFeed News. "I guess, like, they ran to a spot where there were elevators; the security guards didn't let them through."

They said it didn't seem like the security guards on the second floor knew what was going on. Biyáál said they went out to the atrium and saw dozens of people running out of the museum.

"That really freaked me out," said Biyáál, who is visiting from New Mexico. "I've never seen anything — that sort of panic."

After finding the friend he is visiting, Biyáál said, they went down the stairs and got out of the building. They then walked across the street and saw a security guard from the museum, who they said was crying hysterically while on the phone.

As they went back to their friend's apartment, they learned through Twitter that two people had been stabbed. In retrospect, Biyáál said, he thought it was odd how easily they got into the museum Saturday.

"They checked our vaccine cards and IDs, and I actually went in with a bag, but that wasn’t searched," they said. "There was no metal detector or anything like that."

Biyáál, who lives on the Navajo reservation in Shiprock, said it was their first time traveling in a while. He said the incident at MoMA reminded him how strange it is now to be around a lot of people.

"If anything, it’s alway scary to be around crowds," they said. "I guess we’ll see how I feel going back into all this again."

UPDATE

Police on Sunday described the victims as a man and a woman after previously identifying them as two women.

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