Author Salman Rushdie was attacked on a lecture stage in New York

Salman Rushdie,  the Indian-born author who received death threats from Iran in the  1980s, was attacked Friday morning in New York by a man who rushed the  stage where the author was to speak, New York State Police said.

Rushdie was transported to a local hospital by helicopter with a stab wound to the neck and chest, police said.

Police have named Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, as the suspect in custody.

A motive has yet to be established, State Police Maj. Eugene Staniszewski said at a news conference Friday evening.

The world-renowned author, who is 75 years old, was attending a lecture  series at the Chautauqua Institution as a guest speaker when the  incident occurred.

According to a police statement, a male suspect charged the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer at approximately 11 a.m. ET.

The suspect was immediately taken into custody and Rushdie was  transported to a local hospital. Rushdie's agent said he had undergone  surgery and was on a ventilator Friday night, with a damaged liver,  severed nerves in his arm and that he could lose an eye, according to  The Associated Press.

Staniszewski also said that the interviewer, Henry Reese, was treated at  a local hospital for a minor head injury and has since been released.

Reese is the co-founder of City of Asylum, a residency program for  writers in exile, and was on stage with Rushdie during the attack.

Chautauqua Institution President Michael Hill said security needs for events are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

"Salman Rushdie has been targeted for his words for decades but has  never flinched nor faltered," Nossel said. "He has devoted tireless  energy to assisting others who are vulnerable and menaced."

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