filter A killer allegedly pulled out his gun Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had 100 bullets stashed in his home when police raided him in the wake of the surprise attack.
Fernando Andres Sabage-Montell, a 35-year-old Brazilian, was arrested after he was caught on camera aiming a loaded rifle at Fernández de Kirchner outside her home in Buenos Aires Thursday night.
Officials said the suspect pulled the trigger of an Argentine-made .32-caliber Persa 380 pistol but failed to unload.
A man pointed his gun to her head and fired. Christina is alive for a technical reason that is not yet clear. President Alberto Fernandez said the gun, which had five bullets, did not explode despite pulling the trigger.
Police sources told local newspaper La Nacion that when police later raided Montell’s home, they discovered his huge cache of bullets.
Sources added that Montell, who was previously cited in possession of a knife last year, had been renting rooms throughout Buenos Aires and working as a driver in the lead-up to the attack.
Authorities are still trying to determine the motive behind the failed assassination attempt on Fernandez de Kirchner – who has long been a divisive figure in Argentina and is currently facing possible corruption charges.
Fernandez de Kirchner, who has not yet spoken publicly about the ordeal, was pictured walking out of her home and waving to supporters on Friday after a visit from President Fernandez.
The vice president was surrounded by security personnel and was closely interacting with hundreds of supporters gathered near her home when the assassination attempt unfolded around 9 p.m. Thursday.
Footage showed the attacker pushing through the crowd and approaching Fernandez de Kirchner before waving a gun at her. The deputy was seen squatting and covering her face with her hands as the suspect was quickly pushed.
Police said the gun was found a few meters away.
Politicians from all sides in Argentina were quick to condemn the attack, which unfolded as political tensions linger in the country amid an ongoing economic crisis driven by debt and inflation.
“This is the most dangerous event we have experienced since Argentina’s return to democracy,” President Fernandez said in a televised address, referring to the 1983 end of military rule.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also issued a statement on Friday condemning the attack, saying, “We stand with the government and people of Argentina in renouncing violence and hate.”
Meanwhile, prominent lawmaker Miguel Angel Piccito quickly called for an investigation into how the suspect was able to approach the vice president upon her return home.
“There has to be an investigation into how this came about. What happened to her security?” Pechito told local TV outlet TN. “You have to assess why she is so lonely at that moment, that a person can come face to face.”
Crowds gather outside Fernandez de Kirchner’s home daily amid an ongoing corruption investigation she faces over an alleged scheme to divert public funds when she was president between 2007 and 2015.
Last month, the public prosecutor called for Fernandez de Kirchnera – who has denied any wrongdoing – to 12 years in prison.