Author Salman Rushdie was attacked during an event at Chautauqua Institution near Buffalo, New York. Rushdie had just taken his seat on stage after being introduced when a man rushed the stage and started stabbing Rushdie.
"It didn't take long for me to realize that he wasn't punching Rushdie because you don't punch with the side of your hand," witness Ward Pautler told The Daily Beast. "It's so surreal. The more you think about it, the scarier it seems."
The suspect, who Paulter described as "heavy set and wearing a black headpiece," was taken into custody.
Rushdie was taken to the hospital but officials have not provided any information about his condition.
"We are dealing with an emergency at this time and have no further comment or information to provide," the Chautauqua Institution told The Daily Beast.
Rushdie's works have caused multiple controversies, most notably his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses. The book was banned in Iran and resulted in Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issuing a fatwa calling for Rushdie's death. A $3 million bounty was placed on Rushdie's head. While Iran has since backed away from the fatwa, the bounty still stands and has been increased to $4 million.