NEW YORK (AP) – A man stabbed two employees multiple times inside the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York on Saturday afternoon, leaping over a reception desk to attack them after he was denied entrance for previous incidents of disorderly conduct, authorities said.
Police said the victims, a 24-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, were in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital later on Saturday. Their names weren’t immediately released. People posted on social media that museumgoers ran for the exits in confusion and chaos after the stabbing.
New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said the man’s membership had been revoked for two separate incidents of disorderly behaviour at the museum in recent days.
A letter informing the suspect of his expired membership had been sent out on Friday, but he came to the museum on Saturday saying he intended to see a film there, Miller said.
He then became upset and stabbed the museum employees in the back, collar bone and the back of neck, Miller said. They were rushed within minutes to the hospital.
Miller said video showed which way the suspect went after leaving the museum. Police shared photos of the attacker late on Saturday night, asking for the public’s help finding him.
Miller did not identify the man by name but described him as a white male wearing a black jacket, blue surgical mask, a colourfully patterned shirt and hood.
He said the man was a “regular” at the museum, and that the building had adequate security.
The department has no record of a previous arrest for the man.
The museum didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment on the incident, but said on social media that it was closed to the public yesterday.