Police: Manhattan's MoMA Museum Evacuated After Two Women Stabbed, Suspect Remains At-Large
23:02 GMT 12.03.2022 (Updated: 01:02 GMT 13.03.2022)
New York's Museum of Modern Art was evacuated Saturday afternoon after two women were stabbed inside the New York City gallery. The attacker has not been caught, and remains at-large.
The New York City Fire Department and New York Police Department, shortly after reports emerged of the incident, informed NBC News
that both victims were women. The injuries to both victims are not life threatening, and are both in stable condition after being treated at Bellevue Hospital, according to officials.
The perpetrator is believed to be a 60 year-old white man, who was not an employee of the museum, but a member of the museum who had received a letter the day before he attacked the two young women, informing him that his membership had been revoked as a result of two separate occasions of disorderly conduct.
According to police
, the man wanted to see a film, and had jumped the museum’s turnstiles to get past security after being denied entrance. He then stabbed the two victims in the neck and collarbone.
Police say the man fled the museum after the attack, and are searching for him as he is in connection with two other incidents in midtown Manhattan.
The attack occurred sometime around 4:30 p.m., local time, and caused mass panic in the museum as patrons were evacuated without explanation by MoMA security.
Images obtained by the New York Post
show one victim covered in blood. Both appear to be young white women who are employees at MoMA.
Bystanders posted to social media, saying that police headed directly to the coatroom as soon as they arrived on the scene.
The Post reports that one of the employees, covered in blood, yelled out as she was being wheeled away on a stretcher: “I’m going to get hazard pay!”
"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," tweeted Yuichi Shimada, who was at the museum as the incident unfolded.
“All of a sudden a security guard appeared urging us to evacuate. I only realized it was serious when I got to the lower floor and saw museum staff crying,” said
Ann Alves, a Brazilian news reporter and visiting scholar at Columbia University. She said the evacuation process took about two minutes.
“It’s scary,” she said, adding, “we always assume museums are safe. I guess metal detectors will be a necessary inconvenience once again.”
As the investigation is ongoing, police officials say
traffic delays and road closures should be expected.