Author Salman Rushdie Was Stabbed Onstage During A Literary Event In New York

  • In US
  • 2022-08-13 00:15:52Z
  • By BuzzFeed News

Author Salman Rushdie, who has had death threats made against him for decades over his writing, was attacked during a literary event in New York on Friday morning.

A man rushed the stage and stabbed Rushdie as he was being introduced at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, according to an Associated Press reporter at the event.

New York State Police Major Eugene J. Staniszewski said the attacker, identified as 24-year-old Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, jumped onto the stage and stabbed Rushdie at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen.

Staniszewski said several staff members and people in the audience rushed the suspect and took him to the ground before he was taken into custody by a state trooper. Meanwhile, a doctor who was in the audience treated Rushdie until emergency medical personnel arrived.

Rushdie was transported by helicopter to a local hospital. Staniszewski told reporters Friday afternoon that the author was still in surgery and his condition was not known. Rushdie's agent Andrew Wylie told the New York Times Friday evening that the author was on a ventilator, saying "the news is not good."

"Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged," Wylie said in an email, according to the Times.

Another individual on the stage, Henry Reese, cofounder of City of Asylum, a Pittsburgh nonprofit that helps house writers living in exile, also sustained a "facial injury" in the attack, Staniszewski said. Reese was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment and later released.

A motive for the attack is not yet clear, Staniszewski said. The FBI and Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office are assisting in the investigation.

Photos from the scene show Rushdie lying on the ground surrounded by people presumably attending to his wounds. A blood splatter can be seen on the white screens he'd been in front of.

Rushdie had a fatwa issued against him by the Ayatollah of Iran in 1989 following the publication of The Satanic Verses, with criticisms that the book was blasphemous against Islam.

He faced constant death threats, and a bounty of over $3 million was issued for his death by a group in Iran.

Staniszewski said authorities were working to obtain search warrants for various items, adding that a backpack and electronic devices that were found at the scene. Authorities believe the suspect acted alone.

He added that state police were not aware of any previous threats ahead of the attack, but troopers were present at the event at the request of the institution.

Michael Hill, president of Chautauqua, said the individual had a pass to access the grounds "just the way any patron would have." The institution is a not-for-profit educational center that offers courses in art, music, dance, and other interests and hosts over 100,000 public events.

Hill said Friday's attack was "unlike anything" the institution has ever experienced in its nearly 150-year history.

"We were founded to bring people together in community to learn and in doing so to create solutions through action, to develop empathy, and to take on intractable problems," Hill said. "Today, now we're called to take on fear and the worst of all human traits: hate."


More Related News

Fact check: Document with false guidance on New York gun laws circulates online
Fact check: Document with false guidance on New York gun laws circulates online

Senate Bill S51001 requires concealed-carry applicants to complete a 16-hour classroom and two-hour live-fire firearm safety training course.

CEO Talks: William Pak on Strategy for Esprit
CEO Talks: William Pak on Strategy for Esprit's Ambitious Global Relaunch

The lawyer and former private equity executive has taken the brand to profitability for the first time in five years, and plans to use that momentum to...

Trump's troubles worsen: 6 legal landmines facing the ex-president
  • US
  • 2022-09-25 21:07:00Z

Donald Trump's myriad of legal problems have intensified after a whirlwind week of lawsuits and court decisions that went against the embattled former...

Columbus McKinnon moving headquarters to Charlotte from New York
Columbus McKinnon moving headquarters to Charlotte from New York

Columbus McKinnon Corp. is moving its headquarters to Charlotte from the Buffalo area of New York within the next 18 months and will look to grow its local...

Who is Letitia James? What to know about the NY AG who just sued Trump for fraud
Who is Letitia James? What to know about the NY AG who just sued Trump for fraud

New York Attorney General Letitia James is known to take on big players like Trump, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the pharmaceutical industry.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US