Gary Cabana is the New York man accused of stabbing two employees inside the Museum of Modern Art, known as MoMA, in New York City on Saturday, March 12, 2022.
You can see photos and videos from MoMA throughout this article from the scene.
The stabbings come amidst growing concern about rising crime in New York City. His full name is Gary Joe Cabana.
“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,” NYPD News tweeted. The Associated Press named the suspect as Cabana, 60. He was also named by New York City CrimeStoppers.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Surveillance Video Shows Cabana Leaping Over the Reception Area, Police Say
Police released surveillance video, which you can see above, and which they say shows Cabana going behind a museum counter to stab the two employees.
John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, said in a news conference that Cabana entered the room and presented his membership card. It had expired as a result of “two incidents involving disorderly conduct at the museum” on two different dates.
He became upset at being denied entrance, leaped over the reception desk, and stabbed two employees multiple times, in the back, back of the neck, and the collarbone, Miller said, adding that the workers were rushed to the hospital. Both will be okay, Miller said.
He is a white male, wearing a jacket and surgical mask with a colorful patterned shirt and a hood, Miller said.
2. Cabana Showed Up at the Museum to See a Film, According to Police
The individual “is known to us,” and police are trying to locate him, Miller said. He said Cabana has never been an employee at the museum, but was a public member of the museum and a “regular.”
“This was a rapidly unfolding, spontaneous incident,” said Miller. He doesn’t have a previous arrest history, but he was known to police due to the two previous incidents, Miller said.
“The letter revoking his membership went out” the day before the stabbing, but he showed up anyway to try to see a film, said Miller.
“#moma just evacuated–lots of cops rushing in, but no alarms going off,” Lars Jacobson wrote on Twitter.
According to Buzzfeed, the employees are in stable condition at a hospital.
“We were evacuated at the MoMA, two people were stabbed,” a woman wrote on Twitter.
According to Gothamist, Cabana used to work as a Broadway usher.
“It wouldn’t have ever occurred to me that he might lash out,” said Tara Varney, who said she studied theater with Cabana at Missouri State University, to Gothamist. Friends said he struggled with mental illness, which seemed to grow during the pandemic as he lost his job during it, Gothamist reported.
3. Cabana Wrote on Facebook That the Stabbings Were a ‘Frame Job by MoMa’
On Facebook on March 13, 2022, Cabana wrote about the MoMA incident:
What is worse? Hackers or Journos. Right now, I LOVE MY HACKERS for taking my mind off this frame job by MoMA. THERE WERE NO DISRUPTIONS. Security NEVER escorted me from MoMA on the 2 ‘supposed’ days I ‘acted up’ 2/24 + 3/9. Total blind side when I got ‘the letter” from Daniel P.
NOTE to catty beeyotches of the world, words are sharper than knives. Bipolar is a tough road to hoe. Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. THEN U get framed ind evicted from MoMA (not just the movies, ALL THE ART too) by a bitter old woman who shushes U when U LAUGH during a comedy.
She’s the menace, NOT ME. Total Frame job by ‘the Team Barbara’ gang. It wasn’t SCREAM 6 at MoMA it was poke poke poke wake-up call. y the frame job MoMA, get yer facts straight. There is security at EVERY screening. No one has ever said, come with us U r a disruption NO ONE #nO1. Just this one lying conniving woman. Interview HER journos and Y did I never get a mtg with security just a blindside letter.
Daily Mail reported that Cabana’s address is “listed as The Times Square, a charity-run building at 255 West 43rd Street for formerly homeless people or people who are mentally ill.”
4. Cabana Criticized Donald Trump & Tourists Who Won’t Wear Masks
On Facebook, Cabana ranted about President Donald Trump and COVID-19, writing in February, “Thrump knew Covid killed old people. China told him they were using it to manage overpopulation and recover cash spent on retirement and medical bills.”
His page says he lives in New York. “MASKING never ends when A-hole tourists refuse to #MASKUP,” he wrote. “Get sick or better yet, get the virus into yer bronchial tubes, take it home and make yer whole family/friends sick when U get home A-holes!!”
His profile reads, “Still Alive. But slowly being killed by great performances. #drowningintearsofjoy #landobway.” His Facebook page links to a rambling Weebly site about films.
His Instagram page shows he frequently attended New York City cultural events.
5. The Stabbings Led to Chaos at the Popular New York City Museum
According to the New York Post, the stabbings caused a “chaotic scene” as people rushed for the exits, but police sources told the newspaper the women’s injuries “were not life-threatening.”
The New York Post described the suspect as “a man wearing a black hoodie.” He was not yet identified.
Videos also emerged showing people evacuating the museum. A woman wrote on Twitter, “#MOMA ready to head out when police storms in yelling to RUN not Walk… hopefully all safe.”
One Twitter user posted photos from inside MoMA, writing, “I’m in MoMA, and some accident was happened (I don’t know what was happened). All of guest was kicked out from museum. There is a lot of polices and ambulance. Be careful, everyone.”
NBC New York reported that the stabbings occurred around 4 p.m. inside the museum. The television station also reported that the suspect “is known to police” but did not say for what.
One person on Twitter wrote, “Just got evacuated from the MoMa and saw at least two women carried out on stretchers. Shots heard on the 1st floor.”
The report of shots being fired has not been confirmed by authorities. Early reports in such fast-breaking situations are sometimes wrong.
Police were posted at the entrance of the museum.
A man wrote on Twitter, “MoMA – Only in New York can you get stabbed while checking out some modern art at the #MoMA! That’s exactly what happened today. Two people were stabbed at the museum. Not much art appreciation today… Whatever happened to #MetalDetectors?”
The museum’s about us page explains, “At The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, we celebrate creativity, openness, tolerance, and generosity. We aim to be inclusive places— both onsite and online—where diverse cultural, artistic, social, and political positions are welcome. We’re committed to sharing the most thought-provoking modern and contemporary art, and hope you will join us in exploring the art, ideas, and issues of our time.”
MoMA is located at 11 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. It is one of New York City’s best-known cultural attractions.