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Man accused of stabbing 2 people at New York’s Museum of Modern Art arrested in Philadelphia, police say

Mar 15, 2022, 6:35 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:17 pm

ATLANTA — The man accused of stabbing two employees inside New York’s Museum of Modern Art on Saturday was arrested in Philadelphia, police said Tuesday morning.

Information on charges against 60-year-old Gary Cabana will be announced pending his extradition to New York, a New York Police Department spokesperson said. CNN reached out to the Philadelphia police department for comment on the arrest.

The injured employees were both 24 years old, police said. One, a woman, suffered two stab wounds to the lower back and one stab wound to the back of her neck. The other, a man, was stabbed once in the left collar bone, officials said.

Both were rushed to Bellevue Hospital and are expected to survive, police said at a news conference Saturday evening.

Here’s what we know about Cabana:

He visited MoMA regularly, officials say

Police said he was a regular visitor to MoMA.

Immediately after the incident, police described him as wearing a black jacket and surgical mask.

That description was released immediately over division radio units in the area and a search was initiated by police responding to the scene, according to NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller.

He was caught on video leaving the museum, so police knew which direction he went.

Cabana is known to the NYPD, Miller said, and was wanted by the department in connection with two incidents that occurred in Midtown Manhattan, where the museum is located, prior to Saturday’s double stabbing.

Mayor Eric Adams said he was briefed on the incident on Saturday and his press secretary tweeted it “appears to be an isolated, criminal incident.”

The suspect became angry when denied entry, police say

Cabana entered the museum with the intention of attending a film, police said.

“At approximately 4:15 this afternoon, an individual entered the museum, attempted to gain entrance presenting his membership card and was denied entrance because his membership had expired,” Miller said Saturday. “His membership had expired as a result of two incidents involving disorderly conduct here at the museum on two separate dates in recent days,” he added.

Upon being denied entrance, the suspect became angry, jumped over the reception desk and attacked the two employees, police said.

There was ample security in the area at the time of the incident, but Miller described it as a “rapidly unfolding spontaneous incident.”

Patrons evacuated the museum in a panic

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 patron Tina Rook told CNN. “A woman did say it was an emergency,” Rook said, adding the whole incident was handled very well by police and museum officials.

In a series of tweets, MoMA patron Yuichi Shimada described a chaotic scene, saying there were “many police vehicle and ambulances.”

“It seemed that everyone had been ordered to evacuate, and the other guests came out one after another,” Shimada tweeted.

“It was chaotic, partly because it was snowing, with a group of young women in a panic and crying, and partly because people were taking pictures on their cell phones and playing live on their phones too,” Shimada said.

MoMA temporarily closes, suspends screenings

The museum was closed for the rest of the weekend and on Sunday, said it would reopen Tuesday.

“Thank you for your incredible support,” a tweet from the museum said.

The facility was due to screen the films “Paper Moon,” “Wattstax,” “Bringing Up Baby,” and “Cutting Horse” Saturday.

On its website Monday, MoMA showed all film showings at the venue canceled until Thursday.

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Man accused of stabbing 2 people at New York’s Museum of Modern Art arrested in Philadelphia, police say