Argentina Vice President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, escaped assassination after the trigger of the gun pointed at her refused to fire.
According to Bloomberg, the incident happened Thursday night while she greeted supporters outside her residence, Buenos Aires.
The suspect whose plan failed was within inches of the vice president when he pulled the trigger of the gun, which did not fire.
He was later arrested on the scene.
The incident comes at a time in which Argentina is bitterly polarized after years of economic crisis and political infighting. Even the Peronist ruling coalition is divided between Kirchner’s far-left supporters and the more moderate followers of Fernandez.
Reacting, President Alberto Fernandez said the incident was an “attempt against the life” of the vice president and called Argentines to work for a peaceful society.
“We are obliged to recover the democratic coexistence broken by hate speech,” he said in a recorded video message, adding that he decreed Friday a national holiday. “This event is extremely grave.”
After the event, government representatives and the opposition unified in denouncing the attack, with senators from both sides standing for a photo together in congress showing support across party lines. As vice president, Kirchner is the head of the senate.
Former President Mauricio Macri, a political rival of Kirchner, condemned the incident, asking the justice and security system to clarify the events around the situation as soon as possible.
The attacker is a 35 year-old man of Brazilian nationality living Argentina who had a history of carrying weapons, according to newspaper Clarin. Brazil’s Foreign Minister Carlos Franca said the country’s embassy in Buenos Aires is following the situation closely.
Crowds have gathered outside of Kirchner’s home in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Recoleta since a federal prosecutor last week called for 12 years of prison and a lifetime ban on public office for the former president as part of a corruption trial.
Kirchner is accused of alleged fraud and leading an “illicit association” with other government officials and businessmen, whose companies received numerous public works contracts while she was Argentina’s president from 2007 to 2015.
The vice president, who holds a high level immunity in her dual role at the senate, has long denied any wrongdoing, lambasting the charges as politically motivated. She’s unlikely to face jail time in the near term.