After being repeatedly stabbed at a literary event in New York state on Friday, British novelist Salman Rushdie, whose novels have made him the target of Iranian death threats, was on a ventilator and might lose an eye.
Andrew Wylie, Salman Rushdie’s agent said that Rushdie was on a ventilator and could not speak after being attacked on Friday in a statement to NYT. Wylie said that Rushdie will likely lose one eye and his liver was “stabbed and damaged,” adding that the “news is not good.”
Rushdie was airlifted to the hospital after the incident soon before 11:00 am local time, where he required emergency surgery.
Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old resident of Fairfield, New Jersey, was the suspect in the attack, the New York state police said in a press conference on Friday evening. It wasn’t evident what the likely cause was.
Police said Rushdie was also stabbed in the neck and abdomen. Before a trooper on duty at the event detained the guy, other people rushed the stage and knocked him to the ground.
Prior to the arrival of emergency first responders, a doctor in the audience provided medical assistance. The doctor immediately began first aid” on Rushdie, Ralph Henry Reese, a 73-year-old interviewer on stage.
The attack took place at the Chautauqua Institution, a peaceful lakeside hamlet located 70 miles (110 kilometers) south of Buffalo city and home to artistic activities.
AFP said that Carl LeVan, a professor of politics from American University who was present at the event, witnessed the suspect jump onto the stage where Rushdie was seated and “stab him repeatedly and violently.”
The suspect “was trying to stab him as many times as possible until he was subdued,” LeVan said, a regular at Chautauqua, who also said he thought the assailant “was trying to murder” Rushdie.
“There were gasps of horror and panic from the crowd,” the professor said.
Police said that the scene contained electronic devices as well as a backpack, which the authorities are “in the process of obtaining search warrants for”. The police continued by saying that it was currently believed that the suspect was “operating alone.”
At this moment, police state that there is no indication of a motive, but they are collaborating with the FBI and the Sheriff’s Office to identify the cause and the motivation of the attack.