Matt Lauer and the Today show team watched in horror this morning as a crazed man tried to kill himself as they broadcast live to the nation at Rockefeller Plaza.
At around 7.50 a.m. the individual, believed to be in an Asian male in his 50s, began to cut his own wrists with a boxcutter as he stood in the crowd which gathers year-round to watch the iconic breakfast show air.
Dramatic pictures and video from the scene reveal how Today show security staff and the NYPD rushed to intervene as the man – who never attempted to harm anyone else – collapsed in a pool of his own blood on the floor.
Suicide Attempt: With blood clearly visible on the floor – the man who apparently tried to kill himself is subdued by security and the NYPD this morning while the Today show aired
Shocking: This video from the incident this morning shows the man being tackled by Today show security and NYPD as he attempted to harm himself
The entire team had to abandon their outside broadcast and move into the studio after the man who was in the audience stabbed himself in full view of Lauer and co-host Savannah Guthrie – in his apparent attempt to commit suicide.
Informing their viewers why they had moved indoors, Lauer said that a short time ago a man was tackled by the Today show’s security team after he began to cut himself with a knife.
The man was promptly taken away by paramedics and no member of the Today show crew or host’s were in danger of being harmed.
However, Lauer, 55, was clearly shaken by the harrowing incident as he spoke for his colleagues, Guthrie, Natalie Morales and Al Roker.
‘Opening the 8 o’clock half hour inside the studio today because there was an incident out on the plaza,’ host Matt Lauer explained after the commercial break.
‘A short time ago, a man out there attempted to harm himself with a knife. He did manage to cut himself.’
‘He was controlled by our security team out there. However, he did harm himself in some way. And so he’s now being attended to by medical personnel.’
Lauer added that the man ‘did say something about not wanting to harm others.’
Posting a message onto his Twitter feed just before 9 a.m. Lauer gave the all clear after the ‘scary incident’ and again thanked the Today show security team and the NYPD.
Explanation: Matt Lauer and his Today co-host’s inform their viewers why the outside broadcast had to be moved indoors to the studio after a man apparently tried to commit suicide during the live show
The man, who is believed to be in his 50s, was wearing cream clothing and a white baseball cap and reportedly began to cut his own wrists while in the crowd watching the show being broadcast.
He was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital and the early indications from the medical staff are that he will survive.
The NYPD confirmed that this morning an individual started to cut his wrists and possibly his arms, but was not in sight of any cameras recording the show.