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Arts and Entertainment

Music Exec In Critical Condition After Machete Attack [UPDATED]

Society of Singers President Jerry Sharell speaks onstage at MusiCares Person Of The Year Honoring Bruce Springsteen on February 8, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)
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Music industry veteran Jerry Sharell remained in critical condition Monday after he and his girlfriend were attacked by her machete-wielding ex, CBS 2 reports.

Sharell, who helped establish the careers of Carly Simon, Queen and The Eagles, among others, was held hostage and attacked Sunday at the home of his girlfriend in the 4700 block of Nomad Drive in Woodland Hills, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The woman's ex-husband arrived with a machete, scalpel and flowers, police say.

"He got off the bike, took off his helmet, went in the back, and pulled out a big bouquet of flowers and started walking down the street. I just thought it was weird," neighbor Harold Sulman told ABC 7.

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The suspect, who has not been identified, held Sharell and his girlfriend hostage for more than three hours, attacking Sharell first and then stabbing himself.

"He asked his ex-wife to watch as he killed himself," Sgt. Jeff Nuttall told CBS.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was injured when she tried to stop the attack. She was able to escape and called 911. Police said her ex-husband had a history of domestic violence and that she had a restraining order against him.

Sharell, who is in his '70s, suffered stab wounds to his neck and head. He was rushed to the hospital, where said to be in critical but stable condition.

"Everybody in the music industry has known him forever and likes him and respects him," Sulman said of Sharell.

Friends told ABC that Sharell had recently started dating the woman after losing his wife to cancer.

The suspect was arrested and taken to the hospital, where he is in police custody. He also is in critical but stable condition, after slitting his wrists.

Both men are expected to survive.

Sharell hosts a weekly show, Sundays With Sinatra, on KJazz. He has worked with several artists in his long career, including Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, The Cars, and Motley Crue, according to his bio. He has also held positions at the MusiCares Foundation, Westwood One Inc., MCA Home Video and A&M Records. He is also the president of the non-profit charitable organization, the Society of Singers.

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 17, 3:52 P.M. The name of the attacker has been released: Behnam Vasseghi, 57, of Woodland Hills was charged today with attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and other charges.

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He allegedly held his ex-wife and her new boyfriend, Sharell, hostage for more than five hours.

"He would ask [Sharell] a question and if he didn't like the answer, he'd cut the boyfriend on the neck,'' Los Angeles police Sgt. Alex Kim told City News Service.

Vasseghi allegedly cut Sharell's throat with a knife and cut off the tip of his estranged wife's nose before slashing his own wrists.

The suspect and Sharell were both taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center, while the woman was treated at Providence Tarzana Medical Center, Kim said.

UPDATE, 11:45 A.M.: The son of Jerry Sharell, also named Jerry, told ABC 7 in an on-air interview, "We didn't know the ex-husband's history and I don't know if my father knew either because it's a crazy story." He told ABC, "It's unreal, surreal. You can't believe when you get that kind of phone call."

He thanked people who have been sending emails and making calls to wish his father, a respected figure in the music business, a speedy recovery.

His father, who sustained several cuts to his neck, is expected to be released from hospital later this week, ABC reports.