It was June 3, 1968 and the scene played out as such: around 4:15 p.m. Andy Warhol rode the elevator of the Decker Building (33 Union Square West) to the sixth floor, where his famed Factory was. He rode the elevator with Valerie Solanas (see the fourth image), a playwright who had been hassling Warhol about producing her play, Up Your Ass. Solanas was a feminist from a troubled, violent background, famous for writing the SCUM Manifesto, a political tract against the patriarchy that may or may not have been a parody, or, alternatively, a work of misandry. (Do much reading on Warhol and Solanas and you'll find a number of different stories, all with competing agendas.)
The prevailing narrative regarding Up Your Ass, a play about a man-hating prostitute and a panhandler, is that Warhol had read it and felt that it was a set-up; Warhol and his work was frequently under attack for violating obscenity laws, and he felt that this play, so graphic and over-the-top, stank of entrapment. In other words, Solanas was a narc and by participating in the project, Warhol would be playing into her hand. Still, Warhol found Solanas an interesting character and cast her in one of his films. Solanas was not satisfied, hence the two handguns she carried on her person that day in June. (There is also
Once alone with Warhol, Solanas shot the artist three times with a .32 automatic (her backup pistol was a deuce-deuce). Later, she turned herself into the police. His chest left criss-crossed with scars (see the third image), Warhol survived the shooting but spent the rest of his life wearing a corset that prevented the wounds from worsening. He died in 1987, in a hospital in New York, after a gallbladder surgery.