SEATTLE — Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in critical-but-stable condition in Seattle-Tacoma General Hospital after a tragic accident in his home kitchen left him brutally stabbed multiple times, sources confirmed this morning.
Gates’ wife Becky found him lying on the floor of the family kitchen and called 911, according to a family spokesperson.
Investigators believe Gates, 70, slipped on an orange peel while preparing breakfast and fell onto a paring knife 68 times. Paramedics confirmed that while grabbing for a handhold to stabilize himself, he also accidentally discharged a 20-gauge shotgun into the back of his own head three times. At some point several minutes earlier, he also mistook arsenic for Equal, stirring the deadly poison into his morning tea.
Mrs. Gates, while upset, was in high spirits and family confirmed she had gone to the hospital to be with her husband.
Gates has attracted a significant amount of attention due to his upcoming memoir titled Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. The book, set for release on Jan. 14, offers harsh criticism of President Obama's approach to the war in Afghanistan and distrust of uniformed military advisors.
Gates’ injuries will likely lead to the cancellation of a publicity tour planned to boost sales of the memoir, which was set to begin next week.