A New Jersey man is suspected of attacking 75-year-old author Salman Rushdie onstage at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York on Friday morning, according to state police.

At a news conference hours after the attack, state police said 24-year-old Hadi Matar from Fairview, New Jersey, was tackled to the ground shortly after he went on stage to attack Rushdie. State Police Maj. Eugene J. Staniszewski said Matar stabbed Rushdie in the neck and at least once in the abdomen. Another guest, Ralph Henry Reese, was also attacked but sustained non-life threatening injuries. Staff and audience members held Matar before he was taken by police. Charges against Matar are still pending, according to Staniszewski. The FBI is also participating in the investigation.

Rushdie was airlifted to a local hospital and was undergoing surgery as of Friday afternoon. Rushdie’s condition remains unknown. Reese was treated for a facial injury at a local hospital and released. Rushdie and Reese two were at the Chautauqua Institution to discuss the "United States as asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression," according to the institution's website.

Gov. Kathy Hochul thanked the state police for their “swift response.”

“Our thoughts are with Salman and his loved ones following this horrific event. I have directed state police to further assist however needed in the investigation,” Hochul wrote on Twitter, an hour after the attack.

Rushdie’s 1988 book, "The Satanic Verses," is a fictional story that is considered blasphemous by some Muslims. His book was banned in several countries, most notably Iran, where the late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or religious decree, calling for Rushdie’s death.

Rushdie’s book also led to violent protests that killed 12 people in Mumbai. The author went into hiding under a British government protection program for nine years.

The Chautauqua Institution is an historic organization and center in western New York near the Pennsylvania border. Each summer, it hosts authors, musicians, and performance artists for a series of lectures and events.

Michael Hill, president of the Chautauqua Institution, said the incident was "unlike anything" the institution experienced since it was founded in 1874.

"We were founded to bring people together in community to learn, and in doing so to create solutions through action, to develop empathy and to take on intractable problems," Hill said. "Today now, we're called to on take fear and the worst of all human traits: hate."

The story has been updated with additional details.