Both employees were stabbed in the back, collarbone and neck and were rushed to Bellevue Hospital minutes after the attack. They received immediate medical attention and are expected to survive, Deputy Intelligence and Counterterrorism Commissioner John Miller told a news conference on Saturday evening.
“At approximately 4:15 p.m. this afternoon, an individual entered the museum, attempted to enter by presenting his membership card and was refused entry because his membership had expired. His membership had expired following two incidents involving disorderly conduct here at the museum. on two separate dates over the past few days,” Miller said.
Miller said that after being refused entry to the museum, the suspect became angry, then jumped over the front desk and attacked two museum workers, stabbing them repeatedly.
The NYPD is currently looking for the suspect, described as a 60-year-old white male wearing a black jacket and surgical mask. His description was immediately broadcast to divisional radio units in the area and a search was initiated by responding units near the scene, according to Miller.
The suspect, who is a MoMa regular, entered the building on Saturday with the intention of attending a film at the iconic landmark. He is known to the NYPD, Miller said, and is wanted by the department in connection with two incidents in Midtown Manhattan, where the museum is located, before Saturday’s double stabbing. The man was filmed leaving the museum and police have the direction of his escape, he added.
“The person involved in this incident is known to us and we are working to locate this person at this time,” Miller said. The incident is still ongoing and the investigation is in its early stages, he said.
Adams asked for the public’s help in locating the individual, tweeting, “Please continue to avoid the area as police continue their investigation and if you have any information, please contact the NYPD immediately. Public safety is our priority. absolute.”
In videos shared on social media, dozens of people are seen leaving the museum in a large crowd.
“We weren’t told what was going on, just that they had to close the exhibits immediately,” MoMa boss Tina Rook told CNN. “A woman said it was an emergency,” Rook said, adding that the whole incident was handled very well by police and museum officials.
Miller said there was ample security in the area at the time of the incident, but described it as a “spontaneous incident that unfolded quickly”.
Mayor Eric Adams has begun implementing his comprehensive plan to address gun violence and crime in the city. Part of the plan includes reviving the NYPD’s controversial anti-crime unit. Neighborhood Safety Teams will be tasked with patrolling high-crime neighborhoods starting Monday.
The city recorded a 41% increase in the total number of major crimes in the first months of 2022 compared to the same period last year, including an increase of almost 54% in robberies, an increase of 56 % of robbery incidents and a 22% increase in rape reports. , the data show.
Adams unveiled his “Blueprint to End Gun Violence” in January, which includes long-term goals to expand economic opportunity, improve children’s education, and provide greater access to mental health resources while s tackling the gun crisis.