The name of the suspect in the attack nor the motive for the attack have not been released.
According to the Associated Press, a reporter saw the suspect “punch or stab him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced. The author was pushed or fell to the floor, and the man was arrested.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul told CNN that Rushdie is “alive” and “getting the care he needs.” A state trooper “stood up and saved his life and protected him as well as the moderator who was attacked as well,” the governor told CNN.
“Here is an individual who has spent decades speaking truth to power,” the governor said to CNN. “Someone who has been out there unafraid, despite the threats that have followed him his entire adult life, it seems.”
According to The Guardian, Rushdie was in surgery after the attack.
Here’s what you need to know:
Videos Showed People Helping Rushdie & Him Being Rushed to a Helicopter
One video (see above) showed Rushdie lying on the ground in the auditorium, surrounded by people who were trying to give him aid.
Another video showed Rushdie being taken on a stretcher to a helicopter.
Another video captured emergency responders rushing to Rushdie’s side.
A Man in a Black Shirt Jumped on Stage, Witnesses Say
A witness told CNN that a man in a black shirt appeared to be “punching” Rushdie after “walking quickly” down an aisle and jumping onstage. Another witness told the cable news network that there were no metal detectives or security searches at the event.
In 1989, according to CNN, Iran’s leader issued a “fatwa,” calling for Rushdie’s death because of the book “The Satanic Verses,” arguing that it blasphemed Islam. Rushdie has long been living under threat of death due to his writings about the Muslim religion.
Dr. Martin Haskell, a doctor who helped Rushdie, told the Associated Press that Rushdie’s injuries were “serious but recoverable.”
Rushdie Was Stabbed in the Neck, State Police Say
In a news release, New York State Police revealed they “are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY.”
On August 12, 2022, at about 11 a.m., “a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer. Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck, and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital. His condition is not yet known,” the news release said.
“The interviewer suffered a minor head injury. A State Trooper assigned to the event immediately took the suspect into custody. The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.”