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."